MRO Magazine

Azimuth Systems Revolutionizes Testing with VNE, the Industry’s First—and Only—HetNet Environment Emulation Capability


September 8, 2015
By Business Wire News

ACTON, Mass.

Azimuth Systems, Inc., a leading provider of automated, real-world mobile performance test solutions, announced today the availability of industry’s first HetNet-environment emulation capability, called Virtual Network Environment (VNE), for its groundbreaking ACE RNX platform. VNE makes traditional channel-emulation solutions for HetNet incomplete—even obsolete.

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Consumers demand ubiquitous high-speed access to feed their bandwidth- and data-hungry applications. LTE-A uses network densification/HetNet (a network of cells of different sizes) to meet this demand. The shift to LTE-A is creating a network evolution transitioning single-link, planned environments to multilink, unplanned, and interference-dominated environments.

Interference is inherent to any HetNet deployment. LTE-A uses a variety of underlying techniques to operate and excel in an interference-dominated environment. These complex and advanced mechanisms include ICIC, eICIC, FeICIC, NAICS, and other advanced interference cancellation receiver techniques. While these mechanisms and techniques help mitigate the interference, they also increase the overall complexity of the system. HetNet fundamentally changes how networks must be tested.

Testing HetNet in the field, though required, is not realistically scalable, given the typical challenges associated with field-testing (e.g., cost, lack of control, lack of repeatability) and the increasingly complex HetNet environments being deployed. Yet, until now, re-creating true HetNet environments in the lab was not achievable, as legacy tools were either too complex or inadequate to accurately replicate the environment. This lack of lab-based tools has forced OEMs and operators to spend more time, resources, and money validating and debugging issues in the field. Azimuth’s newly released Virtual Network Environment (VNE), available within the RNX platform, is the first and only solution that is capable of creating and controlling a complete HetNet radio environment in the lab.

VNE unlocks repeatable, scalable HetNet testing by (1) defining interfering cells; (2) creating a HetNet environment that uses those cells; and (3) developing test scenarios specifically for that environment. Not only does VNE allow users to run tests they couldn’t have run before, it also leads to significant savings in cost, time, and effort. Early customer trials have shown a significant reduction in the time to recreate field issues using VNE.

“As experts in wireless performance test solutions, we anticipated how the proliferation of HetNet environments would be a disruptive challenge in the industry. HetNet makes most of existing lab-based technology inadequate for testing,” says Peter Paglia, president and CEO of Azimuth Systems. “So, as we led the industry from SISO to MIMO, and from RvR & RvN to field playback, we are leading the industry from link testing to true environment testing. ‘Re-creating the wireless environment’ is something we saw as necessary for realistic lab-based testing. We are pleased that Azimuth Systems is the only test equipment vendor to have the vision to introduce this capability into the industry. We are looking forward to partnering with our customers to tap the power provided by VNE.”

Controlling the ACE RNX and VNE is Azimuth’s Director 3, a powerful and forward-looking test executive known for its advanced automation, cloud-based architecture, and intuitive test creation capabilities. Included within Director 3 is a graphical, easy-to-use interface called Scenario Builder, a first-in-the-industry wizard that helps users easily define complex environments and create numerous test and mobility scenarios. Once an environment is created in Scenario Builder, the software automatically programs the RNX, greatly facilitating and accelerating the testing process.

Reach out to Azimuth for a demo of this new, groundbreaking capability.

About Azimuth Systems

Azimuth Systems, Inc., is a leader in wireless performance test solutions for network operators, device and module OEMs, chipset vendors, and infrastructure providers. Azimuth delivers solutions to re-create real-world device-network interaction and its impact on user experience. Headquartered in Acton (MA), USA, Azimuth has customer engagement offices around the world. Engage with Azimuth at www.azimuthsystems.com or on Twitter (http://twitter.com/azimuthsystems).

Azimuth Systems, Inc.
Vivek Vadakkuppattu, +1-978-263-6610
VP, Product Management & Marketing
vivek@azimuthsystems.com