Spirent teams for automated 5G network testing in China

October 12, 2017 // By Nick Flaherty
UK test equipment developer Spirent Communications is partnering with China Mobile's 5G Joint Innovation Centre Project on automated testing of next generation telecoms infrastructure.

As part of the first phase of the 5G C-RAN project, Spirent and the China Mobile 5G C-RAN Working Group successfully completed automated performance testing. During the second China Mobile 5G C-RAN Wireless Cloud Network Forum, Spirent outlined the test practices used in refactoring for the China Mobile 5GC-RAN project.

In this project, the cloud architecture of the radio access network is viewed as the basis for carrying various future 5G applications. The cloud-enabled radio access network not only needs to ensure the coverage and capacity of basic voice communication services, but also the bandwidth demands of fast-growing extreme Mobile Broadband (eMBB) services, as well as the IoT and Cargo Network applications that offer large connectivity, low latency and high reliability with high network quality requirements.

The technical characteristics of the 5G C-RAN mean that the testing requirements for the underlying cloud architecture are different from those of other NFVs and public clouds. The test system can no longer use the traditional black box test method and must adapt to work with multiple components such as VNFs, VIM, NFVi and SDN controllers and then must be able to validate various NFVi network acceleration and system real-time technologies, referred to as test refactoring.

Test refactoring at its core uses continuous debugging and optimization with a proven methodology, repeatable tests, and centralized analysis on test data, to achieve a compromise between various optimization parameters for the cloud platform and simultaneously find acceptable performance levels.

“This is the first automated performance testing system in the industry specifically designed for 5G C-RAN covering performance tests for cloud platforms using both SR-IOV and DPDK network acceleration technologies,” said Jacky Wu, Business Development Director for Spirent Communications.

Abhitesh Kastuar, Spirent’s General Manager for cloud and IP, adds, “By automating NFVi performance testing frameworks, tests that used to take several weeks or even months can now be completed in a few days, thus, greatly increasing test efficiency. Spirent is strongly