Azimuth Systems Inc. and JDSU, two leaders in communications test and measurement products for the telecommunications industry, formally announced a collaboration to answer the mobile industry’s call for more efficient, effective and end-to-end test solutions. Azimuth’s Field-to-Lab™system replays live-network radio environments by parsing captures and logs from the JDSU E6474A RANAdvisor Wireless Network Optimization Software and W1314A/B Multi-Band Wireless Measurement Receiver. 

By more closely approximating the conditions experienced in actual network environments in the lab, the solution has been proven to reduce field test costs by up to thirty percent. Azimuth’s Device Automation & Control further augments testing by exercising functions critical to the subscriber experience, enabling end-to-end visibility from application to device to network. This partnership supports JDSU’s strategy of bringing real-world conditions from operational networks to enhance customer lab testing, delivering advanced insight before the customer experiences the new services under test.

Mobile operators, OEMs, chipset and infrastructure vendors are challenged like never before with the deployment of new network, device and service technologies. The industry-accepted testing paradigm is under severe stress to accommodate an explosion of new test cases without corresponding increases in budget or time to market. Azimuth is working with pioneers such as JDSU to advance a new testing reality:

  • Scalable: Aseamless, integrated test platform built to incorporate tests of new technologies or applications without major upgrades
  • Smart: Diagnostics and analytics which intelligently connect end-user experience metrics with device and network KPIs to facilitate root cause analysis
  • Subscriber-focused: As the underlying technologies grow in complexity, the need to measure their effect on the user experience intensifies; this experience is best represented by popular applications on devices exercised in environments reflective of typical usage scenarios.

The Field-to-Lab (FTL) strategy from Azimuth and JDSU allows service providers and equipment manufacturers to replay real-world channel conditions collected from drive testing in Azimuth’s ACE™channel emulators. FTL includes sophisticated AzMapper software, thoroughly analyzing raw data collected with JDSU’s RANAdvisor to recreate that same radio environment through intelligent mapping of the logged field conditions to the available lab testbed. FTL and AzMapper enable operators and device, infrastructure and chipset OEMs to visualize the drive test through dynamic replay, profile multiple drives to compare performance and recreate the drive test in the lab for faster benchmarking and analysis in real world environments.

JDSU's RANAdvisor platform includes a receiver with up to eight frequency bands—more than any in the industry—and software that can simultaneously measure and troubleshoot network RF coverage and service delivery across all existing 2G, 3G and 4G technologies, including WiMAX™, LTE and VoIP. The solution reflects JDSU's general strategy of protecting customer investments by building solutions that can quickly incorporate new technologies with software upgrades. Multi-technology RANAdvisor measurements are critical because diverse networks do not operate in isolation.

Leading operators and handset vendors are using this joint solution to benchmark, troubleshoot, and analyze handset performance and network interoperability in subscriber environments. The broad frequency coverage supported by JDSU’s RANAdvisor made the collaboration particularly successful in identifying inter-radio access technology (RAT) issues including handover and multi-frequency support. Based on the market success of the initial collaboration, JDSU and Azimuth are looking forward to additional joint efforts to extend playback support for improved playback of MIMO correlation, propagation delay and new protocols.

“Azimuth is responding to the clear directive from our customer base of tier one operators and ecosystem partners to deliver innovative test systems and methodologies to better support and anticipate evolving mobile test requirements,” said Peter Paglia, executive vice president of Azimuth Systems. “Our collaboration with a visionary leader such as JDSU will enable us to leverage combined expertise that provides more efficient, effective and end-to-end test solutions that our customers demand.”