Cobham Wireless has announced the launch of the TM500 and E500 Multi-RAT Network Test Solution, which helps mobile operators and infrastructure vendors to validate base station/small cell performance in complex networks where multiple technologies are overlaid, ultimately enhancing the user experience.

Although 4G coverage is rapidly expanding, legacy technologies, such as 2G and 3G, will continue to play a significant role for many years to come. Until now it has been a real challenge to prove that network capacity is adequate in a multi-standard heterogeneous network (HetNet) environment, and that mobile terminals can hand over effectively between different technologies, to ensure a seamless user experience. This is vital to maintain customer satisfaction and reduce churn.

The industry-standard TM500 and E500 network test system now achieves this by providing an all-in-one hardware and software platform that can validate the capacity and performance of mobile base stations and networks across three types of overlaid Radio Access Technology (RAT) – LTE/LTE-A (4G), WCDMA/HSPA+ (3G) and GSM (2G). The solution is also able to prove satisfactory user experience when handing over between different RATs – for example from VoLTE on a 4G network to 3G or 2G using enhanced Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (eSRVCC).

The ability to emulate extended groups of multi-band, multi-RAT user equipment (UE) using a single software-defined network test solution enables efficient validation of the multi-RAT network. Allowing the full characterization of realistic user scenarios ahead of network deployment also works to minimize upfront costs.

“Our multi-RAT network test solution, incorporating Real Data Applications, enables users to simulate mobile devices operating across hybrid 4G, 3G and 2G technologies,” said Ran An, product manager at Cobham Wireless. “It does this under real-world traffic and mobility conditions, and can simultaneously validate base station functionality and capacity over all three RATs.”

The TM500 and E500 Multi-RAT Network Test Solution employs industry-leading RF channel and mobility modeling, and supports the validation of challenging Quality of Experience (QoE) parameters during Inter-RAT handover, such as latency, jitter, packet loss and MOS, for a VoLTE call.

Cobham Wireless continues to work with mobile operators and infrastructure vendors to introduce the latest Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) features and functionality at the earliest opportunity.