Rohde & Schwarz implements VoLTE audio quality measurements

November 3, 2011. Rohde & Schwarz has developed what it calls the world’s first Voice over LTE (VoLTE) test solution for audio quality measurements. By combining the R&S®CMW500 wideband radio communication tester emulating an LTE network and the R&S®UPV audio analyzer, engineers can perform audio quality measurements based on PESQ* during an active IMS voice call on the simulated LTE network. The company will demonstrate the capability at LTE North America 2011 in Dallas, TX, November 8-9, 2011.

In addition to this demonstration, Rohde & Schwarz will give a presentation on “Voice and SMS in LTE – A test and measurement perspective.” The presentation will take place on Tuesday, November 8, 2011 3:10 pm as part of conference “Track B – LTE Infrastructural Challenges (Engineers Stream).” The speech will be followed by a panel discussion with Rohde & Schwarz and other industry experts.

In nearly two years, since the launch of the first LTE network in December 2009 in Europe, 35 LTE networks have been launched throughout the world using various frequency bands. And there are more to come, proven by 185 commitments from service providers to roll out LTE networks. More than 161 different devices supporting LTE are available, and more than 100 are dual-mode devices, supporting other cellular technologies due to initial hotspot deployment of LTE. All of these devices are being used for mobile broadband data.

Because LTE is designed as a fully packet-oriented “all-IP-based,” multi-service system with a flat network architecture, it provides some technical challenges to deliver voice and SMS due to the missing connection to the circuit-switched domain of the core network. As a result, traditional circuit-switched based services, such as voice and Short Message Service (SMS), are still being delivered via the existing 2G and 3G technologies: GSM, WCDMA, or CDMA®2000 1xRTT. On a long-term scale, circuit-switched services will be delivered in LTE via the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS).

“The deployment of VoLTE represents a very significant milestone in the evolution of wireless networks. Rohde & Schwarz understands this, and remains fully committed to meeting our customers’ VoLTE technology demands. We have successfully delivered the only test solution that can set up a VoLTE call and actually measure the voice quality,” said Anton Messmer, director of the subdivision for mobile radio testers at Rohde & Schwarz. “The high-priority task shared by chipset manufacturers, handset manufacturers, and service providers is to ensure that voice services delivered over LTE match the same criteria and high-quality standards that subscribers have become accustomed due to using legacy 2G and 3G technologies. With the combination of the R&S®UPV audio analyzer and R&S®CMW500 wideband radio communication tester, this can be accomplished. And network operators can pre-test VoLTE-capable devices and build confidence in performance before taking this important step in their LTE deployments.”

*PESQ® (Perceptual Evaluation of Speech Quality) is a registered trademark of OPTICOM Dipl.-Ing. M. Keyhl GmbH, Germany, and of Psytechnics Ltd., UK.

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