Wider horizons for next-generation testing

The evolution from drive testing to multi-level automated testing in 5G

The wireless evolution to 5G, digital services, IoT, cloud-native and virtualized architectures is creating networks that are more powerful and sophisticated, but also more complex to manage and optimize. To keep up with the new requirements and expectations, operators have to widen the scope of testing and adopt a new approach that combines tried-and-tested tools with new ones.

Wireless networks have to do more, and so does testing.

The new next-gen testing paradigm is emerging from three evolutionary directions:

  • Networks are more complex: legacy and new access technologies coexist, and they support a wider range of devices and services.
  • The set of testing targets is broader: in addition to traditional KPIs, operators need to test for both network performance and perceived performance (i.e., user experience), and for specific traffic types and services.
  • New tools and devices are available for testing: artificial intelligence, machine learning, automation, remote testing, and crowdsourcing create new testing methodologies which can use dedicated or off-the-shelf devices.
  • The result is a new testing environment that operates in real-time and at multiple levels, is more powerful and flexible, and complements the existing testing methodology with new solutions. This more granular approach to testing allows operators to extract all the benefits new technologies promise, that subscribers enjoy the experience they promised and that their networks meet their sustainability targets. This paper we prepared for Infovista looks at how testing is evolving and how operators can meet their new testing requirements without increasing costs.

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