- Application Performance
- Cyber Range Deployment
- Data Center Performance
- Load Balancer Testing
- Low Latency Networks
- Mobile Network Security
- Mobility Performance
- Network Performance
- Network Security
- Network Visibility
- Product R&D
Ixia Raises the Bar for Cellular Offload Testing
Because Wi-Fi access was viewed as non-mission-critical in the past and the network often saw relatively light use, Wi-Fi networks were optimized for coverage, rather than capacity and service quality. In modern offload networks, however, service providers are using Wi-Fi networks as an extension of their 3G/4G networks.
According to leading industry analyst, Craig Matthias of the FarPoint group, “Look, without Wi-Fi, cellular is never going to be able to deliver all the cool services the carriers are touting, most notably streaming video and video conferencing, but really including all data - and, ultimately, voice - services. While cellular technologies, like HSPA+ and LTE, continue to improve in efficiency and capacity, the carriers themselves simply don't have the spectrum to address the expectations they've set. It's thus Wi-Fi or bust.” (Nearpoints blog, NetworkWorld, Oct. 18, 2011)
This “cellular offload” introduces new demands well beyond those of traditional Wi-Fi. Cellular offload demands that the Wi-Fi network deliver a satisfactory experience to many concurrent users in high-density, high-demand locations. In this environment, the Wi-Fi access network becomes a critical infrastructure element for the cellular network, and unsatisfactory user experiences on Wi-Fi can result in the loss of high-margin smartphone customers.
Testing of the Wi-Fi infrastructure and network devices has become a foremost concern for network equipment manufacturers (NEMs), service providers, and enterprises to ensure optimal performance. Many of these companies look to Ixia for pre-deployment testing solutions.
Most recently, Ixia completed a thorough evaluation of the new 802.11n Wi-Fi network for Dubai World Trade Center (DWTC), a facility that encompasses over one million square feet and services over 1.4 million people per year. Ixia worked with DWTC to perform multiple pre-deployment assessments that validated traffic handling and coverage capabilities using Ixia’s award-winning IxNetwork and IxLoad testing applications along with the newest addition to its testing portfolio, IxVeriWave.
To provide companies a standardized methodology for testing Wi-Fi, Ixia created the white paper, Cellular Offload: Site Deployment Best Practices Guide. This comprehensive guide defines key principles and best practices for testing next-generation Wi-Fi deployments, including:
- Using application traffic in addition to signal strength as measurement sources
- Reporting customer satisfaction metrics
- Using the same high-value client devices as network users
- Testing network scalability prior to heavy use at events
- Isolating client behavior from network behavior
For more information on Ixia’s Wi-Fi solution:blog comments powered by Disqus