We are able to provide a range of bespoke testing services, from consultancy to entire end to end automated test system development.
Example use cases where we have provided cost-effective testing solutions include:
Case Study 1: Transport Evolution for Mobile Networks (TEMN)
The primary project objective was to investigate the use of low cost IP packet based technologies such as ADSL and GPON to provide a backhaul service for 3G mobile phone systems, which have stringent timing requirements. This involved the construction of a test facility that could be configured to test the performance of typical data paths from 3G base station to the Core network.
Roke was responsible for the design, integration testing, and subsequent configuration of the test bed, and the definition of the test cases. The physical installation of the test bed was performed by staff outside the UK, where the test bed was located.
The test bed was comprised of a mixture of both COTS and prototype equipment from several different suppliers. Network topologies available within the test bed included both IP based connections and legacy Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) and Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) links. This allowed testing of a large range of both mixed and uniform network topologies.
Integration and configuration of the test bed was performed in an incremental manner as more transport technologies were added to the test facility. Routers and remote control switches were used to control the signal paths in use, hence selecting the technologies being tested.
As the test bed was developed to provide additional facilities, the tests that were to be performed using it were further defined. Automated tools were produced such that the testbed could be configured, and the tests performed from either Roke, or other remote sites with no local operator intervention.
Case Study 2: Radio Network Controller Testing
3rd Generation Cellular Telecommunications Radio Network Controller (RNC) Testing.
The primary objectives were:
- The acceptance testing of 3rd party equipment in order to assess its suitability for use as the major component of our Customer's product (including functional testing and performance testing)
- Detailed protocol conformance testing in order to assess compliance with the relevant 3GPP standards
- Entity and System integration testing of the product in conjunction with existing cellular network components
Roke took a leading role in all stages of the project from acceptance testing and validation of the 3rd party equipment, through to detailed protocol testing during development and later entity and system integration testing of the final product.
For the acceptance tests, Roke analysed the Customer's requirements and specified the detailed test cases, followed by test case design, execution and results capture and analysis. Roke was also responsible for the specification and identification of the major test equipment, and worked with the test equipment provider to ensure that the test requirements were met.
For performance tests, Roke designed a novel test environment (exploiting its extensive domain knowledge in related areas, such as ATM networks) as there was no test equipment available in the market that could achieve the required performance levels. Problems identified during testing were formally captured and raised with the 3rd party equipment provider. Roke worked pro-actively with 3rd party developers, contributing its own expertise, to ensure rapid problem resolution. One final result was a report giving an assessment of the suitability of the platform under test, together with vital performance information, for use by system teams in subsequent analysis and design stages.
For the protocol conformance tests, Roke built on its experience gained from the earlier acceptance test phase and designed and built a flexible test framework which allowed multiple testers to create and execute test cases. Roke also specified and implemented many of the protocol conformance test cases. This framework meant that many test cases and usage scenarios were exercised at a very early stage in the project, resulting in the early identification of problems which otherwise might not have been discovered until the costly entity integration testing stages.
The entity and system integration test activities involved further test specification and test case design by Roke, and included expert consultancy to the integration teams.
This case study shows the generation and execution of test cases in a challenging communications environment. It demonstrates the capture of test results against 3rd party equipment, including the pro-active resolution of problems identified under test. In particular it highlights Roke's expertise in constructing testing frameworks to coordinate multiple test cases allowing efficient parallel working.
Why use an External Test Facility
Roke has been operating in the network infrastructure and security domain for over 20 years. By putting our networking and national security technology experience to commercial use, we find potential problems before your Customers do and suggest solutions to increase product reliability.
As an external test facility with ISO17025 accreditation and experience working with secure fixed and mobile networks we can add value to your project through a number of testing services. Our core hardware and software development experience enables us to interact with all levels of your development team. For example, we can offer your design team expert independent and impartial advice on any assumptions being made during the design process which may impact the performance or testability of the product. We can also provide realistic automated test systems as components of a continuous integration and test environment, optimising your development efforts and focusing your development teams on the product implementation. We are independent of any product manufacturer and therefore offer a totally impartial and confidential service.
Please contact us for further details.