Lab looks to Anritsu, Rohde & Schwarz for eMBMS test

Aug. 18, 2015

Evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (eMBMS) is a multicast standard for LTE that offers lower costs per bit for service providers delivering the same content simultaneously to multiple users. Earlier this year, Carlos Perez, an LTE technical project manager at Orange Labs, described the technology and its uses in an interview with Thomas Campbell of IP&TV News.

And this month, PCTEST Lab, an accredited laboratory for wireless testing and certification, reported that it has engaged in initiatives to prepare for new eMBMS test requirements.

First, as previously reported, Rohde & Schwarz announced that the lab has upgraded its R&S TS8980FTA-2, R&S CMW-PQA, and R&S CMW500 systems to accommodate the new eMBMS test plans for 3GPP conformance and carrier-acceptance testing.

“Delivering video over mobile networks is the next big hurdle for mobile operators to overcome,” said Randy Ortanez, president of PCTEST Lab. “eMBMS holds tremendous promise to deliver video effectively and cost efficiently. The test requirements for eMBMS cut across several different areas, including video performance, all of which present us with significant technical challenges. Rohde & Schwarz helps us meet these challenges by consistently providing us with the test solutions and test cases we need to keep up with our customer demands.”

And shortly after that announcement, Anritsu said that PCTEST Lab has acquired all elements of Anritsu’s LTE eMBMS test portfolio, including eMBMS RF Performance test cases on Anritsu’s ME7873L RF/RRM Conformance Test System (CTS) as well as Carrier Acceptance Test (CAT) and Protocol Conformance Test (PCT) test cases on the ME7834L Mobile Device Test Platform (MDTP). Through the Anritsu test solutions, PCTEST can support all elements of acceptance testing for mobile devices designed and manufactured for LTE networks supporting new eMBMS services.

A November 2011 article in Alcatel-Lucent TECHzine offers background on eMBMS technology. The authors of that article point out that with unicast, a provider must send the same video (of a sports event, for example) to each user individually. “But multicast,” they write, “takes advantage of the inherent broadcast qualities of wireless networks to send the video only once to reach an equal number of end users.”

In his interview with IP&TV News, Perez at Orange Labs described how this might work in practice: “Let’s say you have a very rich e-magazine, Sports Illustrated for example. You sign with Sports Illustrated and they will push the updated issue to your phone every morning before you leave home for commuting. You could do that using eMBMS in a very efficient manner while the phone is on standby.” Subsequently, you can access the content quickly from your phone’s internal flash memory.

He emphasized that, as this example shows, eMBMS is not just for video.

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