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Industry News / Test and Measurement

Aeroflex Accelerates LTE Infrastructure Development

October 16, 2008
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Aeroflex announced the launch of an LTE version of its industry-standard TM500 multi-handset (multi-UE) test mobile designed to enable infrastructure equipment vendors accelerate the pace of their LTE development projects. At the same time, Aeroflex also announced that it has won a contract to supply a major infrastructure equipment vendor with the TM500 LTE Multi-UE test mobile.

Up to 32 LTE handset UEs are provided in one multi-UE test mobile, which simplifies complex tasks such as functional network testing with multiple UEs and performance measurement of resource scheduling algorithms. An LTE cell can be loaded with multiple UEs using a repeatable time profile in a controlled test environment. All 3GPP UE categories will be supported with maximum aggregate data rates of up to 75 Mbps on the uplink and 300 Mbps on the downlink.

After network infrastructure functional testing has been completed with a single handset (UE), the next step is to test with a second UE, then a third and so on. More often than not, multiple UEs do not function as expected against the network, compared to a single UE. System diagnosis is complicated when independent UEs are used, as each UE attempts to interact with the network separately. A tool such as the TM500 LTE Multi-UE is required, because it can repeatedly generate a test scenario involving a user-defined number of UEs.

The TM500 LTE Multi-UE provides the ability to operate multiple UEs on the same test platform using a single point of control. In addition to functional multi-UE testing, the use of the same test platform enables specific tests that require UE co-ordination for which it is not feasible to use independent handsets. Such tests include contention between UEs attempting to access the network together and the ability to check a network’s response if multiple UEs behave unexpectedly or abnormally together. However, each UE still provides 3GPP LTE functionality with its own independent software stack to ensure that it is representative of an LTE handset.

Handset configuration and measurement capabilities are also included to provide infrastructure engineers with the low-level UE access and internal UE visibility they require to properly test and debug the eNode-B (LTE basestation) and network. The performance measurement capabilities of the TM500 LTE Multi-UE can be used to measure, optimize and demonstrate functionality such as the resource scheduler performance of the eNode­B.

In addition to its use for functional and performance testing, TM500 Multi-UE Test Mobile can also be upgraded to support hundreds of UEs for load and stress testing in conjunction with third-party capacity test products.

“The multi-UE test capability now being offered on the TM500 LTE will fundamentally help infrastructure equipment vendors accelerate their LTE development by facilitating the engineering transition from one to multiple UE through to performance and capacity testing,” said Nick Carter, product manager for the Aeroflex TM500 LTE Multi-UE.

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