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Testing and Evaluation


The Testing and Evaluation (T&E) focus area seeks to access more widely available and affordable expand industry-accepted T&E in the U.S. and its territories and possessions. These activities will test, evaluate, facilitate, and assess the interoperability, performance, and/or security of open, interoperable, standards-based 5G radio access networks. Advanced access to affordable T&E lowers the barriers of entry for new and emerging entities, like small companies, start-ups, and SEDI businesses. Grant applications will be evaluated based on the following mandatory and optional objectives.​

​Mandatory Objectives 

​All applications for T&E grants must include industry-accepted T&E activities for network suppliers. These activities include testing equipment and software against industry-accepted test cases and best practices for 5G network interoperability, performance, and/or security.   

​In general, the grant applicants will highlight: 

  • ​The strategy for increasing the availability, affordability, and accessibility of T&E. This should support the development, deployment, and adoption of open and interoperable, standards-based radio access networks.
  • How T&E activities will lead to sustained and accessible testing resources and data, such as advancing industry adoption of open and interoperable wireless networks beyond this NOFO.
  • The testing of interoperability, performance, and/or security of the Radio Unit (RU), Central Unit (CU), and/or Distributed Unit (DU) solutions of the 5G NR Radio Access Network.
  • How to meet administrative requirements such as reporting, attending NTIA meetings, and complying with physical and data security.   

​Optional Objectives     

​Grant applicants can also propose additional activities that support their mandatory T&E Activities. These criteria are secondary in NTIA’s proposal evaluation. The goal is to give grantees more individualized assistance than might be possible during usual T&E activities.     

​Additional activities could include:    

  • ​Operating host facilities for small and medium-sized companies, start-ups, and SEDI businesses developing T&E. This provides resource access that groups may be unable to afford on their own such as high-cost test equipment.
  • Offering technical assistance to other participating groups. This includes helping new and emerging industry bodies understand and interpret test results, as well as providing tips for preparing for T&E activities and improving future test results.