Operators nowadays are facing the challenge of quickly deploying new technologies, such as Gigabit LTE and 5G, in order to access the commercial opportunities presented by IoT, mission-critical services and enhanced mobile broadband. They can now master the challenge of controlling investment costs by utilising advanced and efficient testing techniques for new technologies and services – from the lab to the field – with a single, unified software platform. The smart platform from Rohde & Schwarz mobile network testing (MNT) is a software suite covering lab engineering, field acceptance, optimisation, benchmarking and monitoring with common modules. Test resources can be used efficiently to identify key network investments in order to successfully deploy new technologies while delivering optimal subscriber quality of experience (QoE).
While IoT is being rolled out in the field, 5G is moving from the first steps with pre-standard trials to operators announcing plans for commercial deployment as early as 2018. The rollout of 5G will accelerate the IoT market and, thanks to network slicing and enhanced mobile broadband, enable operators to tailor networks to specific service needs such as media content delivery (especially video), industry 4.0, smart cities and innovative health care solutions. However, with the average revenue per user (ARPU) steadily dropping and the demand for capacity and subscriber quality of service increasing, operators must have the test tools to optimise existing networks while efficiently deploying new technologies to realize the commercial promise of new opportunities.
The Smart platform, with its easy system and test configuration and immediate access to realtime and value-added insights, gives operators a clear picture of the true quality that end users receive when using voice, video, data and other services offered by the 3GPP and third parties (OTT). This helps operators identify areas for focused investments that can positively affect QoE. Together with the characterisation of network conditions and a deep understanding of their relationship, it lets operators identify targeted network improvements. The suite of software tools also provides a seamless user interface for the entire test cycle, from lab verification to field acceptance, troubleshooting, optimisation, benchmarking and monitoring.
The platform relies on a unified set of collecting probes based on the QualiPoc handheld for active testing with smartphones and on R&STSMx scanners for passive measurements. Data collection can be controlled on site or remotely. Results for various use cases are displayed in realtime.
While Smart solutions for benchmarking and monitoring have been available since 2017, at Mobile World Congress 2018, Rohde & Schwarz MNT will demonstrate an extended Smart platform, including optimisation, and launch a new analytics suite (commercially available in June). This makes Smart a truly holistic end-to-end mobile network testing solution to increase productivity and efficiency.
Senior director of product management and portfolio strategy at Rohde & Schwarz MNT, Massimiliano Mannelli, comments: “New market opportunities in IoT, content delivery and mission-critical services are materialising, however the investments required to meet the demand for capacity and higher QoE expectations are outpacing current revenue growth. A key element to an operator’s success is therefore turning the efficiency and capabilities promised by the new technologies into more capacity and a customer experience superior to that of the competition. The new Smart platform from Rohde & Schwarz MNT helps operators achieve that by collecting critical data and generating insights into QoE and its relation to network performance while bringing a new level of integration and efficiency to testing activities.”
Rohde & Schwarz mobile network testing will present the Smart platform as part of its next generation of mobile network testing solutions at Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona (hall 6, booth 6C40) from February 26 to March 1, 2018.