Azimuth Field to Lab (FTL)
Testing mobile devices involves many phases, the ultimate test phase being the validation of the devices in field conditions where the subscribers actually use them. Field testing of devices in diverse conditions of terrain, population density, physical location and motion is extremely time-consuming and costly. The Azimuth Field-to-Lab solution is a unique and effective solution that allows service providers and equipment manufacturers to take real world channel conditions collected from drive testing and replay these data in the ACE MX MIMO Channel Emulator. Field data used in the lab allows real world test conditions to be emulated in a customer’s network test bed.
Standard channel models are often used to recreate channel conditions in the laboratory environment to perform standards-based testing. Although these statistical representations of channel conditions are very useful in equipment testing, certification and benchmarking, they do not adequately capture the unique and specific conditions experienced by a mobile device as it moves through the real world. The Azimuth Field-to-Lab solution easily integrates actual drive test scan logs into the testbeds used in carrier and equipment vendors’ labs to more effectively test devices against field data collected over “golden drive test routes” or at key locations of interest in the actual network, where performance is critical.
Testing with the Azimuth Field-to-Lab solution involves three phases:
- Collecting field data
- Conditioning the data for playback
- Playback of the field data on the Azimuth ACE MX MIMO Channel Emulator
The key components of the Azimuth solution are the AzMapper, AzPlayer and ACE MX MIMO Channel Emulator. To collect field data, the Azimuth Field-to-Lab solution is integrated with both industry-standard and custom drive testing software to allow the re-use of data from drive tests. Drive test data is then converted into a playback file for a given number of base stations and can be filtered, smoothed and filled to ensure realistic playback conditions. Next, the data is played back on the channel emulator; a playback control tool configures the ACE MX MIMO channel emulator and streams the playback conditions to the signal path of the channel emulator between the mobile device and the base station.