In last two decades, the wireless telecommunications industry has grown dramatically. In fact, according to a study conducted by the World Bank, in 2009 telecommunications services revenue constituted of approximately 3.1 percent of the entire world’s economic activity. And a large percentage of this revenue is due to mobile communications services. At this rate, ITU estimates that by the end of 2011 there were about 5.9 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide.
Likewise, in 2010, over 800 mobile network operators (MNOs) worldwide collectively served on average 15 billion calls, 16 billion short messages and 10 petabytes of data every day. As a result, like any other service provider, wireless telecommunications operators are under constant pressure from the marketplace to keep advancing the networks and services.
As wireless telecommunications service providers continue to upgrade networks, using mobile backhauls and higher bandwidths to support more applications on the network, users are demanding more quality of service (QoS). Wireless network test solutions provider EXFO (News - Alert) believes that to deliver high QoS, service providers must perform rigorous testing not only on the network elements in the lab, but also at each stage of the network lifecycle, right through to the live network.
To ensure network success, network equipment manufacturers (NEMS) and operators/network service providers (NSPs) need to verify adherence to specs, functionality, capacity, interoperability, quality of experience (QoE) and QoS, said EXFO.
In fact, according to EXFO, before building a mobile network, the functionality of single network elements must be validated in the lab. As an active testing tool imitating segments of the network, network simulators fulfill this need. Simulators help ensure that the network can handle the traffic loads above and beyond the specs, and they enable regression testing as the elements are developed.
According to the wireless telecommunications expert, such simulation must be done not only in the mobile access network (such as LTE (News - Alert)) but also the CS core, PS core and the IMS/VoIP network, where in addition to functionality and load capacity, security must be rigorously tested.
Likewise, to capture and analyze traffic from various interfaces of mobile network elements, EXFO is also recommending passive testing of the wireless networks. In order to find and fix network errors fast, NEM and NSP testing teams need a clear view of the status of the traffic between these elements. The test solutions provider said that protocol analyzers provide signal- and user-plane analysis applications, which take the captured data, analyze it, and deliver clear graphical representations of the traffic. This helps NEMs and NSPs save testing time and enables them to deliver the best QoS for their end customers, asserted EXFO.
EXFO provides all the tools needed for ensuring the integrity of wireless telecommunications networks, from the lab right through to the live network.
Edited by Jamie Epstein