To ensure service providers can offer a smooth evolution to 5G, they need efficient and consolidated field test solutions, says Kashif Hussain, wireless solutions director, VIAVI Solutions.
CommsMEA: Could you brief us about VIAVI’s CellAdvisor and what’s the latest update therein?
CellAdvisor is a base station analyser for the installation and maintenance of cell sites. This test and measurement solution supports spectrum and interference analysis for RF over CPRI (RFoCPRI) and narrowband IoT testing.
The CellAdvisor JD700B series of base station analysers have been enhanced to analyse spectrum and interference of 5G signals in the 28 GHz frequency band.
CellAdvisor is trusted by Tier-1 mobile service providers as a standard test platform, and VIAVI worked with this customer base to ensure that they can continue to use a single field test solution for both existing and next-generation networks.
CommsMEA: Which operators are using this?
A number of network equipment manufacturers (NEMs) and operators– including Ericsson, Huawei, Samsung, AT&T, Softbank, U.S. Cellular and Verizon – are conducting trials of 5G radios in the 28 GHz band. Currently, VIAVI is working with multiple Tier-1 service providers who are testing radio interface at 28GHz spectrum.
CommsMEA: What potential does VIAVI see for this solution in the Middle East?
According to the GSMA, operators in the Middle East will be among the first in the world to launch commercial 5G networks. To ensure that these service providers can offer a smooth evolution to 5G while also serving hundreds of millions of subscribers on existing networks, they are in need of efficient, easy-to-use, consolidated field test solutions for existing and next-generation networks.
CommsMEA: How does this solution enable operators better on the way to 5G?
To accommodate the higher speeds envisioned in 5G, the industry is expanding to higher frequency bands such as 28Ghz. CellAdvisor is familiar to cell site technicians, riggers and contractors, enabling them to use a single field test solution for network installation and maintenance today and tomorrow, minimising costs, complexity and technician training.
The CellAdvisor JD700B series of base station analysers supports a range of field testing applications, including demodulation of all wireless technologies up to LTE; fibre inspection; interference analysis and PIM detection over CPRI; fronthaul and remote radio head verification over CPRI; and 5G spectrum and interference analysis.
CommsMEA: What does Viavi see as the biggest challenge for operators on the way to 5G?
The key 5G challenge operators face is the evolution to virtualisation and cloud. That encapsulates the different applications of 5G that operators have to manage including IoT, network automation, the exponential growth in traffic and the proliferation of services - while securing revenue streams to remain profitable.