Mobile network operators are facing a transformational change. Operators need to dramatically change the architecture and the way they deploy their radio access networks. The architectural change they need is to adopt an open virtualized RAN model.
Altiostar has been championing open vRAN since 2016 and their 4G and 5G solutions provide the transformation operators require.
Open virtualized RAN (Open vRAN) software supports open interfaces and virtualizes the baseband unit to build a disaggregated multi-vendor, web-scale, cloud-native mobile network.
Key Needs and Challenges
Altiostar is a provider of both small cells and macrocells. Small cells have all the same characteristics as macrocells. However, they are uniquely capable of handling high data rates for mobile broadband and, for IoT, high densities of low-speed, low-power devices. Small cells are broadly categorized as indoor small cells and outdoor small cells. Or more technically femtocells, picocells, and microcells — each with its distinction based around its coverage capability and the number of individual users it can support.
The following were the key requirements from the small cell team.
- Functional validation of different features
- VoLTE and VoNR scenarios
- Stability test with high throughput data
- Frequent handovers between different cells
Since the small cells come in different form factors, it was crucial to have these tests done on all of these variants rigorously and continuously. Each variant is not just required to be tested for stability on the new version of the software but also for different hardware configurations. This amplifies the validation cycles a particular version needs to undergo before being certified to be of GA quality. This slowed down the QA cycle substantially thereby affecting the delivery timelines to their customers.
A single hardware-centric UE simulator was mostly the bottleneck in achieving the speed that the Altiostar team desired.
How Simnovus Delivered Value
We offered a software approach to solve their engineering challenges by enabling them to create multiple parallel test-beds thus, reducing the validation cycle by almost half and also enhancing the quality simultaneously.
After ensuring that the Simnovus UE simulator met their requirements, Altiostar chose to introduce it into their small cell and macrocell QA labs. A single UE simulator system connects to multiple base stations at the same time. Today, they use several of our UE simulators to validate their 4G and 5G small cells and macrocells.
The Simnovus Advantage
The Simnovus UE simulator became their preferred UE simulator for the following reasons:
- UE simulator on COTS hardware placed on a tabletop next to the small cells is convenient to manage
- Our agile product delivery was critical to align with their speed
- Easy-to-use user interface allowing them to quickly create complex scenarios
- Detailed logging capability and extensive statistics gave a better insight into the issues and capabilities of the small cells
- Swift and efficient tech support
Our UE Simulator continues to deliver superior value to Altiostar’s team and is helping them deliver world-class 4G and 5G base stations.