Boost Your Network Performance Using a True Virtual Drive Test

Guy Lecurieux Lafayette
Feb. 23 2014

Ercom and InfoVista have recently announced a platform that will help improve performance, while reducing the time and costs associated with LTE and HetNet network rollouts.

This demonstration platform bridges together radio planning data and load emulation in the lab,  allowing the enhanced emulation of field conditions, and a better quality prediction of network coverage. In summary, Mentum Planet brings more realism to Ercom's Mobipass, which in turn, provides Mentum Planet with an increased understanding of eNobeB behavior. Ultimately, this results in more accurate network coverage and capacity simulations.

As soon as an emulation tool embeds real hardware, real software and exhaustive models of the radio environment based on UE geographical location… then it's considered a virtual drive test!

Ercom will demonstrate an example of a virtual drive test using this innovative platform at Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona (Hall7 Booth J40). InfoVista will also be showcasing the platform during Mobile World Congress, at Hall7 Booth G40.

Prior to starting field testing, the drive test campaign could be run in the lab. This means Mobile Network Operators have the capability to tune the selected eNodeBs against pre-defined QoE levels in a controlled lab environment.

Mobipass UE emulator is configured with the targeted geographical zone and associated RSRP, RSRQ, SINR grids, eNodeBs location and UE positions imported from Mentum Planet radio planning tools. On top of these grids, the optimization engineer can define a mobility scenario by specifying UE routes on the Map GUI. Fast fading, Doppler, Pathloss, and Interferences are applied dynamically on these UEs based on their location and route on the map.

Once the scenario is set up, Mobipass network emulator runs the UEs protocol stack and connects to real eNBs and a real core network. Then the UEs cope with measurement-based handover, interference, fading varying in function of their location.

Troubleshooting can easily be completed during this phase with very low deployment costs, as compared to troubleshooting on the field.

What you will see at the demo:

  • How to define a virtual drive test using the easy-to-use graphical user interface
  • Run the virtual drive test in a randomly loaded environment and see it on Google Street View
  • An example of VoLTE traffic in loaded environment
  • The opportunity to assess real performances of the Radio Access Network and monitor KPIs related to end-user perception with the reproduction of real life cases in the lab

Ercom blog post 1Ercom blog post 2


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