Test & Measurement


Mobile service test system

28 February 2001 Test & Measurement

The deregulation of the telecommunication market, combined with the fast growing number of mobile subscribers, has made it necessary to have an efficient and powerful test solution to provide knowledge of quality of service (QoS) and network performance at all times. Due to the complexity of the mobile network, it is very difficult to isolate internal network problems. With roaming traffic, several networks are involved, which increase the intricacy of testing even more.

One of the major advantages of GSM is that a mobile station can be used in different national mobile networks. In order to establish, maintain and guarantee the customer full availability and high quality of the GSM 900/1800/1900 services internationally, roaming tests are necessary. The regular, manual execution of tests between different operators and countries is time-consuming because all tests have to be repeated for each partner public land mobile network (PLMN). This type of test not only results in high manpower and administration costs but it also reduces the reliability of the obtained test results.

The solution to those problems and to economise in test activities on a long-term basis is the automation of test execution.

The challenge

Mobile communication offers a large number of tele service facilities which have to be supported in both the home and the visited PLMN. As new services come into effect appropriate test functionality will equally be required. Some of the services will be available for all mobile subscribers, others will be individually restricted. Each modification to a software release or network structure by one single operator forces all other operators to test the roaming facilities to guarantee their customers a full level of service. The wide range of functions demands complex test methods in order to maintain the full availability and high quality of such services while the rapidly growing number of international agreements between operators calls for automated testing to reduce costs.

As a major worldwide supplier of telecom test systems, Acterna (formerly known as Wavetek Wandel Goltermann) has built a test system to enable permanent supervision of the quality of service for mobile services. The WWG 8620 mobile quality of service test system offers a unique and easy way to continuously and fully automatically monitor and check for proper functionality and availability of mobile services. By using real SIMcards, the card validity is checked in parallel to the service test.

Key benefits are: up-to-date knowledge of QoS for visitors and home subscribers; permanent QoS supervision; fully automatic test control; testing of mobile services with real SIMcards; testing of roaming services with real SIMcards; preparation of IREG reports; local SIMcard server for up to 568 SIMcards; remote control and networking capabilities.

All these benefits form the basis for centralised test automation with significant cost savings and quality improvement.

Spescom MeasureGraph's Communication Test Division is a southern African distributor of Acterna products. Contact Paul Louckx, (011) 266 1572.





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