Slough, UK Aeroflex has launched a handset trace capability for its successful SystemAT laboratory-based test system. SystemAT is used for regression testing new wireless network software and features prior to rollout and handset validation/interoperability testing as well as network load and capacity testing. The extension of SystemAT to allow the complete integration of trace handsets will substantially reduce the ‘time-to-solve’ problems as they provide more detailed handset status and radio information than commercial handsets enabling the underlying causes of problems to be diagnosed. The system allows an operator to automate a large part of the test process on a test network, as well as extending the depth and repeatability of the testing while reducing the number of field trials that are needed. SystemAT can deliver both operational cost savings in relation to the test process and reduce the technical risks involved in new software rollout.Trace information is provided in addition to handset behaviour data (voice calls, data calls, message services, etc).
The trace information provided includes radio environment information such as received signal strength and cell information plus higher-layer protocol messages as exchanged between a handset and the network. Handset trace information adds significant value when investigating the cause of sub-optimal handset operation with the network. For example, a common scenario is where the user experiences an unexpectedly low data rate between the network and their handset. The trace information provides a mechanism to identify whether the cause of this problem is due to an incorrect bearer allocation or a more subtle scenario such as a timing issue surrounding channel resource management. The trace information is made available for analysis together with all the handset behaviour data and metrics captured by the SystemAT. To assist user interpretation, trace data can be viewed and manipulated using a message sequence chart. SystemAT also supports an auto search using handset behaviour data to focus on the key trace messages.
Aeroflex Test Solutions , Slough, UK. www.aeroflex.com.