Spirent Communications has announced support for testing Wi-Fi access points through an RF interface on Spirent Landslide.
With its ability to test from the core network to the Wi-Fi offload gateways now extended to the access points, Spirent Landslide ensures that mobile operators can deliver reliable and seamless services to subscribers under fully loaded conditions.
Mobile operators and equipment vendors can validate subscriber experience as they move between nationwide mobile networks, carrier Wi-Fi hot-spots and private wireless networks.
By next year, more traffic will be offloaded from cellular networks on to Wi-Fi than remains on cellular networks, according to the Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI). And by 2017, 60% of cellular network traffic will be offloaded to Wi-Fi, according to the Wireless Broadband Association.
All this opens new opportunities and challenges for carriers as they prepare for the next-generation mobile infrastructure - one that seamlessly hands off subscribers between cellular and Wi-Fi networks.
The Wi-Fi access point and offload gateway are critical elements in ensuring seamless and secure service handoff from the mobile network. The access point allows wireless devices to connect to the wireline network, while the offload gateway provides the bridge to the mobile packet core and is the relay point for authentication and carrier services.
“Verifying that handover and service quality of experience between cellular and Wi-Fi networks is secure and efficient is a critical aspect of deploying services like Voice over Wi-Fi,” said John Baker, general manager, Mobility Infrastructure business unit at Spirent Communications.
“Landslide has long been the de facto solution in the industry for testing mobile core and Wi-Fi offload. For the first time ever, carriers can now employ a single, integrated platform to fully verify network performance end-to-end—including the critical handoff from a cellular to a Wi-Fi network”
Spirent claims that unlike competitive solutions, Spirent Landslide tests the performance and scalability of the Wi-Fi access point, Wi-Fi offload gateway and the mobile core network, enabling authentication and handover scenarios to be verified, as well as providing quality of experience metrics, including network availability, call setup time, call drops and voice quality for Voice over Wi-Fi testing.
The solution’s advanced test capability for mobile networks and services emulates millions of mobile subscribers traversing the network and using a mix of real-world of applications and services.