The testing process of state-of-the-art telecommunication equipment is a demanding task requiring multiple testing phases and significant amounts of resources. This article introduces a testing concept that enables the same testing environment to be used throughout the development lifecycle of telecommunication equipment. Moreover, the testing approach is designed to exploit the salient features of the upcoming IMT-Advanced systems in order to make the testing process more efficient. At the heart of the this wrap-around testing approach are a few multi-purpose network and radio channel emulators which can be configured to support all the testing phases from unit testing to system testing. By utilizing the same testing tools in all the testing phases, the amount of resources required for test environment maintenance and testing tool training are minimized. In addition, the extensive use of simulations makes the testing environment very flexible when it comes to studying the new features of the most recent telecommunication standards. In order to verify the feasibility of the devised testing approach, this article also contains a case study example, in which an implementation of the wrap-around testing environment is built from commercial testing tools. In the presented case study, the testing environment implementation is used for throughput testing of an LTE eNB in SISO and MIMO configurations. The results obtained are compared to the theoretical performance values of the technology and, together with earlier studies, demonstrate that a testing environment based on the wrap-around testing concept can be used in different testing phases during LTE eNB development.
Pinola, J., Perälä, J., Jurmu, P., Katz, M., Salonen, S., Piisilä, J., Sankala, J., & Tuuttila, P. (2013). A systematic and flexible approach for testing future mobile networks by exploiting a wrap-around testing methodology. IEEE Communications Magazine, 51(3), 160-167. https://doi.org/10.1109/MCOM.2013.6476882