Spirent Communications has created two derivatives of its Landslide mobile packet core network capacity and load assessment system, one designed specifically for testing the network core and the other optimized for the network edge.
At the same time, Spirent Communications plc has evolved its InTouch product into a new wireless network troubleshooting tool that does double duty helping with customer experience assurance.
Operators of wireless networks can use the new Landslide Core and Landslide Edge to emulate network traffic -- from a single call to millions.
The system can be used to find points of failure and/or to proactively troubleshoot potential problems in a network, for example by enabling automated, real-time validation of configuration changes and upgrades.
John Baker, GM of Spirent's Mobility unit, tells Light Reading, "We can walk a handset through every interface on the network, and let you do that down to a port on a router."
Operators can use Landslide to test not only the active network, but also the redundant elements, to make sure that failover systems actually work. Baker explained that this is not a theoretical problem. One Spirent customer, a tier 1 in the US, had a systemic failure when its primary network went down, and it didn't know that its redundant network had already failed.
"In terms of direct costs, carriers worldwide are spending billions of dollars a year dealing with outages and degradations," says Patrick Donegan, chief analyst, Heavy Reading. "In terms of indirect costs, outages and degradations are also a significant driver of subscriber churn."
Baker says, “By using Landslide Core and Edge, carriers can greatly improve the real-time visibility of the network control and data plane as well as validate the impact of each node in the network from a QoE perspective on individual services.
Meanwhile, Spirent's new InTouch Customer and Network Analytics (CNA) product focuses on customer experience assurance and troubleshooting by interfacing with just about any passive network probe, and analyzing the data for potential problems -- anything from a radio issue to a provisioning error, the company claims.
The new tool supports 2G, 3G and 4G technologies (including WiFi).
Several operators are already deploying beta versions of InTouch CNA, especially for new services like VoLTE and the Internet of Things (IoT).
The issue with IoT, for example, is that with so many things that could be attached to the network, it is impossible for any network operator to test them all before they get activated. InTouch gives network operators the option of activating all of these devices and then running analytics to make sure they're working the way they're supposed to, Spirent GM Tom Russo explains.
— Brian Santo, Senior Editor, Components, T&M, Light Reading