Aeroflex announced the TM500 TD-LTE Multi-UE, adding multiple handset (multi-UE) testing capabilities to its market-leading test mobile range supporting TD-LTE infrastructure development. The TM500 TD-LTE Multi-UE enables TD-LTE infrastructure equipment vendors to test the performance of their TD-LTE base stations (e-NodeBs) under loaded conditions, accelerating the pace of infrastructure equipment development programs. At the same time, Aeroflex announced it has already won a series of sales contracts for the TM500 TD-LTE Multi-UE.

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. System diagnosis is complicated when independent UEs are used, as each UE attempts to interact with the network separately. The TM500 TD-LTE Multi-UE replicates multiple TD-LTE handsets in a single test mobile, simplifying complex tasks such as functional network testing with multi-UEs and performance measurement of resource scheduling algorithms. The TM500 TD-LTE Multi-UE can be used to repeatedly generate controlled test scenarios involving a user-defined number of UEs.

“More often than not, multiple UEs do not function as expected against the network compared to a single UE, so it is extremely important to test an eNode-B under loaded conditions,” said Nick Carter, product manager for the Aeroflex TM500 Multi-UE. “The launch of the TM500 TD-LTE Multi-UE further strengthens Aeroflex’s position as the leading provider of TD-LTE test mobiles, providing infrastructure equipment vendors with an invaluable tool to test loaded operation and performance. Our early sales success shows that we are providing a capability that is very much in demand.”

The TM500 TD-LTE Multi-UE replicates a number of programmable and fully configurable UEs that are representative of TD-LTE handsets enabling them to measure loaded eNode-B performance before real handsets become available. It provides a controlled, repeatable and deterministic test environment to operate multiple UEs on the same test platform with 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 and for which it is not practicable to use independent handsets. Such tests include contention between UEs attempting to access the network simultaneously and the ability to check a network’s response if multiple UEs behave unexpectedly or abnormally together. However, each UE still provides TD-LTE functionality with its own independent software stack to ensure that it is representative of a TD-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 an eNode-B and network. The TM500 TD-LTE Multi-UE can also be used to measure, optimize and demonstrate functionality such as the resource scheduler performance of an eNode‑B.

“TD-LTE is the Time Division Duplex version of LTE and an evolution of existing Chinese TD-SCDMA technology. It allows the efficient allocation of downlink resources and opens up the unpaired spectrum for LTE,” said Stephen Hire, director of marketing for Aeroflex Asia. “With TD-LTE network rollout scheduled to begin in 2010, the timescale for its deployment is extremely demanding, placing significant pressure on the early availability of feature-rich TD-LTE test equipment to support the ongoing lab and field trials. The TM500’s new TD-LTE multi-UE test capability will help infrastructure equipment vendors fundamentally accelerate their eNode-B development by facilitating the engineering transition from single and multiple UEs through to performance and capacity testing.”

The TM500 TD-LTE Multi-UE capability can co-exist on customers’ existing TM500 LTE equipment protecting their investment and maximizing test flexibility.