JDSU is honored to be a part of high profile global communications industry forums that help shape the future of technology, networks and services (e.g., The Future of Voice over LTE? JDSU has a voice in the outcome . . .). Recently, the Small Cell Forum − in partnership with European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and hosted by Orange labs in Cevennes, Paris, France − organized the second Small Cell LTE Plugfest in June and July 2014. To help set the stage for mobile’s next big thing.
JDSU and the Plugfest
JDSU experts were joined by many small cell LTE system and sub-system vendors. Companies were busy validating the level of interoperability between different vendors at this pivotal time. Planned test cases included technologies such as VoLTE (Voice over LTE). Two of JDSU’s technical mobile leads attended and supported the testing: Francesco Cuzzoni and Gilles Le-Breton. Some of JDSU’s award-winning (see new award below) mobile network and service enablement solutions were part of the product mix: JDSU CellAdvisor Base Station Analyzer for maintaining and troubleshooting cell sites, as well as our Signaling Analyzer Real Time (SART), a protocol analysis tool.
I was able to get more details about the event and JDSU’s role from Paul Gowans of our Network and Service Enablement team. Thanks for your time Paul!
Q: We hear often about the explosion of mobile connected devices worldwide, and its impact on the network and the ability to deliver reliable services and applications. How does the Plugfest event help support better networks, better services?
The Plugfest allows operators, network element providers and test vendors to get together and test architectures and share intelligence in an open environment. Services and network specifications can be evaluated and interoperability can be examined and proved across multiple vendors. Being able to do this in a flexible environment ensures the networks of tomorrow can be proved and optimized before they are deployed. This all means the end user with their mobile devices continue to get the best and highest quality mobile experience.
2014 Plugfest participants get together to test mobile architectures and share intelligence in an open environment
Q: What were the big differences from last year’s Plugfest to this year? How far along have the technologies come (what is trending in 2014 that wasn’t last year)?
The Plugfests continue to evolve and mature. The small cells market in particular is growing (including the proliferation of the Home eNodeB or Femtocell). This presents an opportunity to test small cell environments and architectures and how they co-exist with the macro network. This year, for example, in addition to small cells being a key trend, the area of SON (Self Optimizing Newtorks) is very prominent. The LTE standards supports SON functionality such as ANR (Automatic Neighbor Relation). This avoids the need to manually provision and manage neighbor cells which is becoming increasingly challenging. The ANR function resides in the eNodeB and manages the conceptual Neighbor Relation Table (NRT). By using JDSU’s SART mobile test solution to monitor both the S1 and X2 interfaces, the ANR feature can be analyzed by decoding X2 setup and X2 based handovers.
Q: As a provider of network and service enablement, how does JDSU prepare for an event like this? What do we expect to get out of it, what do we contribute? What is the most important expertise we “bring to the table”?
JDSU is highly engaged in many industry groups supporting the mobile domain. Being involved with the operators and equipment vendors in new technology areas allows us to ensure that when the networks of tomorrow get deployed we are there to help plan for, install, turn-up, manage and optimize both the network and the services…and this delivers the coverage and capacity the mobile user needs. JDSU brings our experience with operators and NEMs around the world and the Plugfests add to that experience which enhances the overall industry.
Being involved with the operators and equipment vendors in new technology areas at events such as Plugfest allows us to ensure that when the networks of tomorrow get deployed we are there to help plan for, install, turn-up, manage and optimize both the network and the services
Q: Without giving too much away, briefly list three top “take aways” from the event – what were some of the high level, eye opening conclusions?
The formal conclusions will be published by ETSI and the Small Cell Forum…from JDSU’s perspective the key areas being addressed in the industry include:
o Multi-vendor interoperaibility
o LTE evolution (e.g. SON, VoLTE, LTE-A)
o Small Cells
Companies were busy validating the level of interoperability between different vendors at this pivotal time
Q: What do you predict will be the big mobile issues for the industry at next year’s event?
Always difficult to predict! Interoperability testing in multi-vendor architectures will always be something that benefits from testing. VoLTE as a service is starting to gain traction and given the end-to-end complexity and the IMS environment will certainly require careful consideration. The evolution of SON as it relates to small cells and HetNet networks will be something the industry will be looking at, too.
New Award for JDSU Mobile Test
Thanks again, Paul. Oh, one last item, congratulations to the mobile test team at JDSU - JDSU was once again recognized for innovation! TrueSite, a JDSU mobile test solution that enables installation and troubleshooting of indoor cell site and distributed antenna system (DAS) deployments, won the 2014 LTE Visionary Award by the Mobility Tech Zone, which is sponsored by TMC, a global integrated media company, and Crossfire Media.
“JDSU’s achievements in advancing 4G through LTE development is impressive and as such selected as recipient of the Mobility Tech Zone LTE Visionary Award,” said Carl Ford, co-founder and community developer, Crossfire Media. “JDSU is an innovator and one to watch for the next evolution of solutions.”
Paul Gowans (below) from JDSU's Network and Service Enablement business segment specializes in global mobile networks.