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EXFO Talks Wireless Service Assurance at Mobile World Congress

Telecom test and service assurance company EXFO was at Mobile World Congress (News - Alert) last week promoting its various solutions that address all stages of the product lifecycle – from the lab, to turn up, to assurance, to troubleshooting.

New at Mobile World Congress was an end-to-end mobile backhaul solution that addresses that four-step lifecycle. It includes various devices, all of which tie into the carrier OSS. It’s a fully integrated, backhaul solution to enable OPEX (News - Alert) reduction and flexibility

Also new at the show was a wireless simulator, which can address up to 1 million sessions per port. The ability to simulate such a high volume of sessions is important, CTO Vikas Aurora says, because service provider networks must scale. The product has two 10gig and eight 1gig ports.

The company recently announced that a leading wireless system vendor has selected EXFO’s wireless simulator products – which address LTE (News - Alert), 2G, 3G and CDMA – to help ensure its tier 1 service provider customers can deliver quality of service over their wireless networks.

EXFO’s (News - Alert) wireless network simulation solution is the most complete and highest performing on the market,” says Matti Palomäki, vice president of EXFO’s Wireless Division. “We are glad that such an important wireless system vendor has chosen our products for ensuring high-quality services across its LTE, CDMA, 3G and 2G architectures. This deal demonstrates that major network equipment manufacturers trust EXFO’s simulation expertise to ensure the quality and performance of their next-generation wireless networks.”

BrixHawk Distribution Analyzer was also among the products EXPO highlighted last week in Barcelona. This product, which is now commercially available, measures quality of service related to both application and network, and delivers information about subscriber experience.

There are many components to the 3GPP LTE architecture. Two of those components are the MME, or mobility management entity, and the SGW, or serving gateway (which routes and forwards user data packets and is involved with eNodeB handoffs). Aurora says MMEs and SGWs are very distributed in service provider networks, and he adds that there’s a fair amount of complexity related to this architecture in terms of what to tap into and with what interfaces when it comes to test and service assurance. However, the EXFO solution can tap into many connections and analyze them together, more holistically, he says.  

"The BrixHawk DA boasts the industry's most powerful technology and superior real-time performance, enabling more detailed user-plane analysis and allowing users to significantly speed up the resolution of functional and quality issues," says Palomäki."The large number of customer evaluations currently ongoing in NEM verification labs, MNO LTE trials and deployments – including a world-leading operator – clearly shows that there is great interest on the market for our new BrixHawk DA."

Aurora adds that in addition to a desire to deliver and ensure quality of service, and rapidly scale networks, there is a trend in wireless networking today of using more fiber. For example, fiber is increasingly the medium of choice to connect remote radio units and remote radio heads, he says. Fiber is preferred to coax for this application because it has less loss, and can connect more towers to the base band unit. And that, he says, is another example of why gear from EXFO, which is known for its fiber solutions, is needed.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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