Spirent enhances leadership in location services testing

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Spirent's ULTS system enables comprehensive interoperability testing of A-GPS GSM handsets

Spirent Communications has announced a significant enhancement to its UMTS Location Test System (ULTS) for the testing of GSM and WCDMA mobiles incorporating Assisted GPS (A-GPS).

A-GPS is the most popular high-accuracy location technology choice of operators deploying next-generation location-based services in Europe and around the world.

Spirent's ULTS already allows operators and mobile manufacturers to test fully the accuracy and reliability of A-GPS-equipped mobiles prior to widespread commercial deployment. However, applicable industry standards for A-GPS allow a wide range of implementation options, resulting in a very significant potential for interoperability issues between mobiles and networks.

Now, Spirent's SMLC Emulator (SSE) has been added to the ULTS, enabling mobile manufacturers to test fully the interoperability of their products' location ability against the wide range of implementation possibilities.

This enhancement helps reduce the need for costly field trials and helps ensure reliable operation in roaming scenarios prior to full deployment. The highly flexible SSE will allow mobile manufacturers to test their devices over the full range of location services message content and call flows that are likely to be encountered in live networks.

"Operators hoping to launch profitable location-based services over 2.5G and 3G networks clearly want to minimise any performance and interoperability issues experienced by their subscribers," states Richard Catmur, wireless business development director at Spirent Communications. "Ideally these problems need to be caught before services and mobiles are deployed. With the new SSE, our ULTS solution now makes it possible to identify both performance and interoperability issues in the lab, helping to enable the success of next-generation services."

A Serving Mobile Location Centre (SMLC) is the key network element in A-GPS implementation. The SMLC manages the processing associated with the location of a mobile and in many cases makes the actual calculation of a mobile's location. In order to detect interoperability problems caused by implementation differences in SMLCs and mobiles, extensive lab tests using actual SMLCs and expensive field trials are usually carried out.

Now equipped with the new SSE, the ULTS can emulate the function of a real-world SMLC in a lab environment. Spirent Communications' wireless test solutions aid in all phases of mobile handset development and deployment for the world's leading chipset, handset and infrastructure manufacturers and mobile service providers.  Spirent is considered by the industry the "one-stop-shop" for CDMA handset performance and certification testing. Among its accomplishments, Spirent has introduced the first and only integrated solution available to test location-capable CDMA phones, a critical element of assisting manufacturers in meeting the U.S. FCC E911 requirements.

Spirent has leveraged its success in mobile performance and certification testing in the CDMA market to also bring comprehensive performance analysis to the GSM and WCDMA market.

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