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Ixia: Test and Measurement Helps Carriers Realize Promise of LTE

LTE (News - Alert) offers the promise of differentiated services and more capacity, and can help enable service providers to create new business models and revenue streams as a result. But if carriers and their infrastructure suppliers don’t adequately prototype and test these new networks, they risk losing out on many of the benefits of 4G.

That’s the word from Joe Zeto, senior manager of market development at Ixia (News - Alert).

The 14-year-old, public company has built its business by delivering “super high-scale” test and measurement solutions, which are used primarily in lab environments. About 60 percent of Ixia’s business is with network equipment companies; most of the rest of it is with the service providers.

Ixia started out doing test and measurement for wireline, but expanded into wireless three years ago.

“We have a huge focus in wireless, especially LTE,” says Zeto.

The company’s solutions emulate client devices and test all the way to the base station. They look at throughput, latency, latency variation, video and video quality (including mean opinion scores), loss, and the impact of various applications and exceptions. Considering a wide variety of scenarios is important because even seemingly small things can add up to big impacts on the network, Zeto indicates.

For example, there can be wide variation from vendor to vendor equipment once security features on endpoints are enabled, he says. That, and the fact that LTE networks will be comprised of a wide variety of network elements (like policy servers from companies like Tekelec (News - Alert), routers from companies like Juniper, and switches and other stuff from those outfits and others) means service providers should not rely exclusively on one vendor to ensure high performance on their networks as a whole.

To do that, Zeto says, “is a recipe for disaster.”

Not only does Ixia do test and measurement end to end in multivendor environments, it looks at all kinds of traffic and scenarios, and lets its customers see their impacts on subscriber quality of service, different applications, and the network as a whole.

New from Ixia around Mobile World Congress (News - Alert) is a VoLTE solution, as well as the ability to insert denial of service and other attacks into test networks to watch what happens.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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