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Long Term Evolution (LTE) Emulator
for X2 Interface

Welcome to another June 2017 issue of GL's Newsletter providing information and insight into our enhanced MAPS™ LTE Emulator for X2 Interface.  It has been enhanced with call control scripts to manage UE and Non-UE procedures. 

Mobile networks are in the process of transitioning to Long Term Evolution, a Fourth Generation (4G), all packet network architecture.  It will permit vastly higher data rates to mobile smart phones, making voice, video, and data truly integrated for the first time - through a single access technology.

In simple terms, LTE consists of a "Packet Core" and a network of eNodeBs (as shown below). eNodeBs have two interfaces, the X2 interface permits eNodeBs to talk to each other directly, and the S1 interface permits talking to the "Packet Core".

Overview

GL’s enhanced LTE X2AP Interface Emulation tests and verifies eNodeB implementations through its MAPS architecture. Message Automation & Protocol Simulation (MAPS™) is a multi-protocol, multi-technology platform used for the emulation of a variety of communication protocols over IP, TDM, and Wireless networks. MAPS™ can be used to test signaling over legacy networks (such as CAS, SS7, ISDN, PPP and more), IP networks (such as SIP, MGCP, MEGACO, SIGTRAN, Diameter...) and also Wireless technologies including GSM, UMTS, and LTE networks. 

MAPS™ X2 Application Protocol (X2-AP) Interface Emulator is used to co-ordinate handovers and perform 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. 

MAPS™ LTE X2-AP Interface Emulator 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 messages and parameters. 

The application can be integrated within GL’s End-to-End Communications Network Lab (EE-CNL) providing reliable solution to vendors and service providers for simulation, monitoring, and troubleshooting the network using MAPS™ 4G Wireless Lab Suite’. 

Supported UE and Non-UE Procedures

Function Elementary Procedure(s)  

Mobility Management

  • Handover Preparation
  • SN Status Transfer
  • UE Context Release
  • Handover Cancel

Load Management

  • Load Indication
  • Resource Status Reporting Initiation
  • Resource Status Reporting

Reporting of General Error Situations

  • Error Indication

Resetting the X2

  • Reset

Setting up the X2

  • X2 Setup

eNB Configuration Update

  • eNB Configuration Update

Call Simulation using MAPS™ X2AP Interface Emulator

MAPS™ X2 can be configured as Source eNodeB or Target eNodeB terminals in the LTE network over X2 interface handling the above listed UE and Non-UE associated procedures. 

The Non-UE procedures (X2AP Setup, Reset request, ENB Configuration Update, and Resource Status request) are automatically handled once the application is started.

While the UE procedures (Mobility Management – Handover, Error Indication) are handled in the Call Generation.


MAPS™ X2AP Call Generation handling Mobility Management Procedures

MAPS™ X2AP Call Reception handling Global Procedures

Other Release Enhancements include:

  • X2AP Decode/Encode now supports Version 14 of 3GPP TS 36.423: User can create any messages and simulate any Procedures as per TS 36.423 V.14.
  • A single call control script to handle and control all UE Associated Procedures from Call Generation window
  • Non UE Global procedures (X2AP Setup, Reset request, ENB Configuration Update, and Resource Status request) are automatically initiated once testbed setup is started.

Call Status and Message Statistics

By default, all call handling scripts (irrespective of the type of the functions) are assessed by MAPS™ LTE X2 to provide statistical information about total calls, active calls, completed calls, passed calls, and failed calls. It is also possible to characterize the statistical information under different groups of call handling scripts under a unique heading. 

Main Features

  • Simulate two eNodeB elements in LTE X2-AP interface
  • Supports LTE Control plane
  • Supported Mobile GTP Traffic type
  • Generates hundreds of UE Signaling (Load Testing)
  • Generates and process X2-AP (valid and invalid) messages
  • Supports Mobility Management, Load Management, Reporting of General Error Situations, Re-setting X2, Setting up the X2, and eNB Configuration Update procedures
  • Insertion of impairments to create invalid messages
  • Supports customization of call flow and message templates using Script and Message Editor
  • Ready-to-use scripts for quick testing
  • Supports scripted call generation and automated call reception
  • Script based & protocol independent software architecture
  • Provides Call Statistics and Events Status
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