It seems as though a month doesn’t go by without a headline or two announcing how operators are dealing with VoLTE network delays, failures and outages. Many industry experts agree: while VoLTE offers tremendous potential for operators to meet increasing data traffic and compete with over-the-top (OTT) services, many underestimate its complexity—both in terms of deployment and testing.
Because VoLTE entails that multiple networks (IMS, LTE, 2G and 3G) have to work together, many challenges can arise, such as dropped calls, latency, lack of service availability, transport impairments, voice impairments, interoperability issues, and more.
In order to overcome these issues, operators should consider three testing strategies that, when used together, provide the optimal conditions to mitigate VoLTE delays, failures and outages and their impact on subscribers:
Lab network testing: This strategy, which focuses on functional and load testing is ideal to improve protocol conformance, error handling, interoperability, quality of service (QoS) and capacity and performance.
Production network testing: Aligned with functional and beta testing procedures, this testing strategy is used to streamline network connectivity, edge-to-edge service performance, and quality of experience (QoE) as well as guarantee that operators comply with their SLAs.
Live network optimization: As the name suggests, this testing strategy provides 24/7 service monitoring and assurance to establish network baselines, pinpoint network trends, perform troubleshooting and, overall, ensure best-in-class end-to-end service performance.
However, while some operators may steer their attention primarily to live network optimization, they should never underestimate the value of lab and production network testing, particularly load testing, to determine network pitfalls under normal and peak conditions. Pre-emptively addressing probable network issues before they impact—or are reported by—subscribers, goes a long way to maintaining SLA requirements, customer satisfaction and brand reputation.
But how can operators properly set up effective load testing scenarios within lab and production environment?
EXFO’s latest webinar, Load Testing VoLTE in Lab and Production Networks, gives the insight you need on the advantages and best practices for VoLTE load testing.
If you are deploying VoLTE in the near future, it’s a presentation you don’t want to miss.