Monday, January 17, 2011

Ixia Extends its IxCatapult for End-to-End Femtocell Testing with LTE

Ixia has extended its IxCatapult testing platform to provide an end-to-end femtocell ecosystem validation, including access points and gateways, for network equipment developers and service providers. Ixia's test solution can emulate any node in the femtocell ecosystem, including user equipment, home eNodeBs (HeNBs), HeNB gateways (HeNB GW), and HeNB management systems.

A number of different femtocell test scenarios are provided covering interoperability, security and scalability between the femtocells, the gateways and the packet core. As many of the home eNodeBs in LTE will not be under strict operator control, the vulnerability of the network and the performance of the IPSec tunneling must be assessed. Scalability challenges also include the need to validate user plane and control plane traffic loads between home eNodeBs and the gateways. In addition, there is a need to test and verify mobility between femtos and macrocells for devices, and there are reliability as well as quality-of-experience metrics that must be measured as the femtos aggregate voice and data traffic.

"The continual demand for more and more data over wireless networks is fueling HSPA+ and LTE technology roll-outs. With this growth comes an increase in femtocell use in order to provide access in places that are not suited for traditional wireless deployments and to offload congested macro cells," said Joseph Zeto, senior manager, market development at Ixia. "Ixia's IxCatapult femtocell testing allows vendors and service providers to overcome important market challenges and significantly lowers the risk of femtocell deployment issues."


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