Test company Anite, which has a background in device and radio access network testing, has continued its journey through the network by releasing a test product aimed at the mobile core network.
Anite’s Triton product is a multi-purpose tool designed to verify signalling flows between EPC entities such as the HSS, MME, and serving and packet gateways, and the eNodeBs and Internet (SGi). (See diagram above for interface support).
A range of applications – network discovery, roaming analysis, cell visualisation and device tracking – are included to sit on top of the core solution which provides 4 x 10GbE data capture capacity.
Richard Jacklin, Busines Development Director, said, “The concept is to have a range of different applications, some of them geared towards testing network protocols, and some more towards a set of QoS paramters, like loading in different eNodeBs, protocol errors or latency.
“With Diameter signalling for inbound roaming that’s something you would expect from a product for a centralised NOC. We’ve taken a different approach, something more innovative.”
Jacklin added that Anite is introducing the product to meet two main needs within operators. The first is the requirement to meet the need for solutions that can prove that operators’ core networks can withstand increasing volumes of the signalling data that are expected to materialise as LTE continues to be adopted.
The second anticipated driver is for solutions that can provide interoperability testing and acceptance for multi-vendor core networks as operators move to installing elements as virtualised functions on standardised hardware.
Anite’s view is that as operators drive for operational flexibility (and reduced cost), the adoption of virtualised core elements will bring with it the requirement for test and monitoring methodologies between virtualised functions provided by different vendors.
“Operators are going to have a competitive environment for different parts of the EPC, and need interfaces between those functions to be visible to the outside world to check what’s going on. Today we can connect to an aggregated port that brings logical interfaces into a single physical port, NFV will need the same scenario. What’s clear is that there will be some testing and monitoring ports made available for proper QoE and end to end visibility,” Jacklin said.