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Newsletter: Enhanced LTE Protocol Test Suite

Welcome to a March 2014 issue of GL's Newsletter providing information and insight into our enhanced LTE Analysis and Simulation tools. 

Overview

LTE (Long Term Evolution) protocol standard generally considered 4G (4th Generation) mobile standard in the ever-evolving mobile technologies. Its distinguishing feature is an all IP infrastructure and significantly greater air interface bandwidth to the mobile handset. It was developed as an enhancement to the existing 3G UMTS System (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) to provide users enhanced mobile radio and Internet access.

The LTE air interface is a completely new system based on orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA) in the downlink and single-carrier frequency-division multiple access (SC-FDMA) in the uplink. The system efficiently supports multi-antenna technologies (MIMO). OFDMA is considered much better at handling the varying propagation conditions seen in mobile radio. This is similar to WiMAX. In MIMO techniques, either multiple antennas can transmit the same data stream to improve data-transmission reliability or different antennas can transmit different data streams simultaneously to increase throughput.

LTE Test Suite

GL's LTE Analyzer is capable of capturing, decoding and performing various test measurements across various interfaces over LTE and IMS networks. GL's MAPS™ - a multi-protocol and multi-interface simulation software can be used to simulate almost all elements in the wireless 2G, 3G, and 4G networks. One can also setup a virtual real-time network simulating all the network elements using ‘MAPS™ 2G 3G 4G Wireless Lab Suite'

On the other hand, MAPS™ LTE Emulator supports emulation of several interfaces in LTE and IMS network S1 - MME, X2-AP, eGTP-c (S3, S4, S5, S8, S10, S11 and S16), and Diameter (S6a, S6d, S13, Cx, Dx, Gx, and Rx) . It can simulate up to 500 Smartphones (UEs) powering up and down. 

LTE Protocol Analysis

Apart from analyzer's unlimited capturing, decoding, and measurement capability, it also supports variety of protocol stack for decoding S1, S3, S4, S5 (or S8), S6a, S10, S11, S13 and X2 interfaces and Diameter sessions over S6a, S6d, Cx, Dx, Sh, Gx, and Rx interfaces.

Supported Protocol Specifications:

Supported Protocols Specification Used

MAC

IEEE 802.3

IP

RFC 791

UDP

RFC 768

SCTP

RFC 2960

TCP

RFC793

S1AP

3GPP TS 36.413 V9.0.0

X2AP

3GPP TS 36.423 V9.0.0

eGTP

3GPP TS 29.274 V8.0.0

NAS

3GPP TS 24.301 V9.0.0

Diameter

IETF RFC 3588
S6a, S6d, S13 - 3GPP TS 29.272 V10.3.0
Rx - 3GGP TS 29214-b10
Cx/Dx - 3GPP TS 29.228 & TS29.229
Gx - 3GPP TS 29.212 & TS 23.203
Sh - 3GGP TS 29.328 & TS 29.329

Some of the Important Features

  • Displays Summary, Detail, Hex-dump, Statistics, and Call Trace Views, the contents of this view can also be copied to clipboard
  • Search and filtering capabilities
  • Exports Summary View information to a comma delimited file for subsequent import into a database or spreadsheet
  • Capability to export detailed decode information to an ASCII file
  • Any protocol field can be added to the summary view, filtering, and search features providing users more flexibility to monitor required protocol fields
  • Remote monitoring capability using GL's Network Surveillance System
  • Capable of capturing, decoding and performing various test measurements across various interfaces i.e. S1, S3, S4, S5 (or S8), S6a, S10, S11, S13 and X2 interfaces of the LTE network
For more information, you can visit LTE Protocol Analyzer web page.

Scripted LTE Protocol Emulation using MAPS™

LTE X2-AP Emulation

The X2 AP (Application Protocol) is the interconnecting interface between two eNodeBs in LTE network and supports both Control Plane and User Plane. The principle Control Plane protocol is X2-AP (X2 Application Protocol) resides on SCTP (Stream Control Transmission Protocol). 

GL's MAPS™ LTE X2AP is used to co-ordinate handovers and performs load management between eNodeB (Evolved Node B) network elements - Source eNodeB and Target eNodeB. The MAPS™ X2-AP test tool is designed with specific test cases, as per LTE 3GPP mobile standards.

For more information, you can visit MAPS™ LTE X2-AP Interface Emulator

LTE S1 Interface Emulation

GL's Message Automation & Protocol Simulation (MAPS™) designed for testing LTE - S1 interface can simulate eNodeB (Evolved Node B), and MME (Mobility Management Entity). The application gives the users the unlimited ability to edit S1-AP/NAS messages and call scenarios (message sequences). 

For more information, you can visit MAPS™ LTE S1 Interface Emulator

LTE eGTP Interfaces (S3, S4, S5, S8, S10, S11 and S16) Emulation 

GL's Message Automation & Protocol Simulation (MAPS™) designed for testing LTE S11, S5/S8 (eGTP) interfaces can simulate MME (Mobility Management Entity), SGW (Serving Gateway), and PGW (Packet Data Network Gateway) network elements. The MAPS™ LTE eGTP gives the users the unlimited ability to edit S11, S5/S8 eGTP-C (Evolved GPRS Tunneling Protocol for Control Plane (eGTP-c) messages and call scenarios (message sequences). 

For more information, you can visit MAPS™ (eGTP) interface Emulator.

MAPS™ LTE Emulator supports Real-time traffic over GTP can be emulated using the Mobile Traffic Simulation (ETH101, and ETH102) modules. It also supports powerful utilities like Message Editor, Script Editor, and Profile Editor which allow new scenarios to be created or existing scenarios to be modified using message templates and profiles. "Message sequences" are generated through scripts. "Messages" are created using message templates.

Supported Protocol Standards

Supported Protocols Specification Used
X2 Application Protocol (X2-AP) 3GPP TS 36423-900
SCTP RFC 4960
Non-Access-Stratum (NAS) 3GPP TS 24.301 V9.0.0 (2009-09)  
S1 Application Protocol (S1-AP) 3GPP 36.413 9.0.0 (2009-09)
Evolved GTP (eGTP) for EPS 3GPP TS 29.274 V8.0.0 (2008-12)
Evolved GTP (eGTP) for EPS 3GPP TS 29.274 V9.2.0 (2010-03)

Some of the Important Features

  • Simulate source and Target eNodeB elements in LTE X2-AP interface
  • Simulates eNodeB, and MME elements in S1 interface.
  • Simulates MME, SGW and PDN GW elements in the LTE eGTP interface
  • Supports LTE Control plane
  • Generates hundreds of UE Signaling (Load Testing)
  • Generates and process X2-AP, S1-NAS, and GTP-C (valid and invalid) messages
  • Supports Mobility Management, Load Management, Reporting of General Error Situations, Re-setting X2, Setting up the X2, and eNodeB, MME Configuration Update procedures
  • Insertion of impairments to create invalid messages
  • Supports customization of call flow and message templates using Script and Message Editor

Scripted Diameter Interfaces Emulation

Within LTE, MAPS™ Diameter can simulate S6a, S6d, S13, Cx/Dx, Gx, Rx, and Sh interfaces and test network elements such as the MME (Mobility Management Entity), HSS (Home Subscriber Server), AF (Application Function), PCRF (Policy and Charging Rules Function), CSCF (Call Session Control Function), SGSN (Serving GPRS Support Node), PCEF (Policy and Charging Enforcement Function), EIR (Equipment Identity Register), PDN GW (Packet Data Network Gateway), and AS (Application Server).

The MAPS™ Diameter gives the users the unlimited ability to edit messages on supported interfaces to support various procedures such as Location Management, Subscriber Data Handling, Authentication, Fault Recovery, and Notification procedures over S6a interface; AA-Request/Answer, Re-Auth-Request/Answer, Abort-Session-Request/Answer, and Session-Termination-Request/Answer procedure over Rx interface; Mobile Equipment Identity Check Procedure over S13 interface; Authentication Authorization (AA) procedure over Rx and Gx interface; User Data Handling procedure over Sh interface. 

For more information, you can visit MAPS™ Diameter Protocol Emulator.

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