Azimuth Systems, Inc., a leading provider of comprehensive real-world wireless test solutions for LTE-Advanced and beyond, announced their ACE™ RNX radio network emulation platform. ACE RNX has been purpose-built to support advanced testing configurations for Small Cells, HetNets, Carrier Aggregation, MU-MIMO, Full Dimension MIMO, 3D Beamforming and Advanced Antenna Systems. The platform allows users to design complex networks of multiple cells with dynamic mobility paths, in a very easy-to-use drag and drop GUI, and then easily implement and execute complex multi-link test cases. It is a future-proofed platform designed to meet the testing challenges faced by the mobile ecosystem during the development, qualification, and deployment of next generation wireless technologies such as LTE-Advanced.

Effective deployment of LTE-Advanced, Small Cells, and HetNets places new demands on current testing methodologies. These requirements include establishing and testing multiple simultaneous radio links in the lab, emulating heterogeneous network scenarios, and scaling the complexity of test cases. The calibration and coordination of the resulting testbeds further increases the demands placed upon test teams, both in test case design and testbed configuration.

Azimuth recognizes that modern test labs require tools and solutions for current challenges that also anticipate future needs and understands the existing channel emulation tools on the market do not adequately address these requirements. With the ACE RNX, Azimuth is able to provide a platform that delivers on the performance and channel density the marketplace needs for accurate real-world wireless testing, while meeting the increasingly demanding requirements of modern test labs with a futureproofed design.

The new ACE RNX is enabled by Azimuth’s Director 3™ software for test management and automation. Director 3 provides critical testing information for re-creation, visualization, troubleshooting and automation, making it the most robust and intuitive testing software suite of its kind in the industry.

Engineered to support the emerging mobile wireless networks being developed and deployed around the globe, Azimuth’s Director 3 Test Executive provides innovative new tools including “Scenario Builder” and “Link Builder” for more effective multi-link testing. Existing solutions are limited in their ability to flexibly create, emulate, and manage complex network topologies where multiple radio links and devices are present. As an example, OEMs and test labs testing Carrier Aggregation are experiencing the impact of these limitations, with lengthy setup and calibration times and with inadequate repeatability in test results. Conversely, Director 3’s Scenario Builder is a visually intuitive, drag and drop GUI that enables the creation of complex multi-link test scenarios, while Link Builder provides the intelligent coordinated control required of multiple individual links.

Azimuth is also introducing an innovative cloud based interface with SOAP automation in Director 3 that directly addresses the need for greater flexibility in managing testbeds and provides unmatched capabilities for remote access and control. Furthermore, the ACE RNX platform delivers market leading RF fidelity required for testing LTE-Advanced along with features such as built-in real time fading. The platform supports industry standard models or user defined custom models that allow users to easily recreate a variety of typical MIMO scenarios for accurate performance and interoperability testing, with 128+ digital channels available through multiple scalable configurations.

“As emerging wireless networks and topologies for LTE-Advanced, including Carrier Aggregation and HetNet with Small Cells, are deployed, the interaction between the device and the network increasingly impacts end user experience. As a result, our customers are facing more complex testing challenges and are looking for their vendors to provide solutions capable of scaling to meet their evolving needs,” said Pete Paglia, president of Azimuth Systems. “The original ACE MX platform was the first radio channel emulator in the industry purpose-built to test MIMO-OFDM and LTE; once again, we have looked ahead to our customers' testing challenges and have now created the most comprehensive platform for testing LTE-Advanced. Through its future-proofed architecture, the ACE RNX anticipates our customers’ roadmaps and Azimuth once again is able to provide the industry’s leading channel emulation platform for real-world testing of existing and emerging MIMO RF systems. The ACE RNX is part of Azimuth’s growing portfolio of innovative products and solutions for performance testing, benchmarking, and analysis of devices and networks. Leveraging our thorough systems-level understanding of complex radio scenarios, and through close collaboration with our customers, Azimuth is able to provide the market with a suite of scalable, easy-to-use, and future-proofed wireless test solutions which enable the mobile ecosystem to predict, analyze, and improve performance, and ultimately help optimize end user experience.”

The ACE RNX radio network emulator will begin shipping to customers in November 2014.