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Wireless communications to boost test market

Posted: 22 Sep 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:wireless communications? test equipment? interoperability testing?

Increasing mobile data usage resulting in denser traffic is due to the continuously expanding wireless communications market. Frost & Sullivan Inc. has observed that the trend is raising the demand for more wireless core and mobile backhaul test equipment; mobile and base station testers; and drive testers.

Service providers (SPs) need to be informed about the importance of testing and monitoring, and its impact on quality of service (QoS) and quality of experience (QoE). Customer satisfaction is key to improving the uptake of test equipment.

"Enhanced data usage also triggers transmission pipeline-related technology changes such as conversion from copper to optical technologies," stated Frost & Sullivan program manager, Olga Yashkova. "Such transition creates new opportunities for testing 1Gbit/s, 10Gb, 40Gb and 100Gb pipelines."

As the number of devices supplied by different vendors increases, protocol management will become more complicated. In the absence of a separate signaling or session framework, interoperability testing has to be performed at every existing node when a new element or software load is placed in service. These activities are time and resource intensive, with costs increasing in proportion to the number of tests.

To avoid these hurdles, SPs prefer to work with fewer vendors. Frost & Sullivan noted that one of the possible solutions to service providers' testing concerns is multiple input and multiple output (MIMO) technology, which is a significant component of air interface test equipment.

As the industry shifts from 2X2 MIMO to 4X4 MIMO or 8X8 MIMO, testing will become increasingly tough. Even though MIMO has several unique testing challenges due to its complexity, it presents numerous opportunities for wireless test equipment vendors.

- Colin Holland
??EE Times

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