3G-2G Handover Testing

Intersystem Handover Testing

UMTS will be successful only if intersystem handover with GSM/GPRS works. Although the deployment of UMTS starts in areas with high traffic volume, rural regions will not have UMTS coverage in the near future, but mobile customers expect roaming-access everywhere - without losing their connection.

Experience shows that network behavior changes under differing traffic loads, even when functionality for single users works correctly. Therefore, it is essential to verify the intersystem handover under heavy load.

Connected to the well-standardized 3GPP interfaces between the radio access and the core network, a traffic simulation system is able to simulate thousands of different mobile entities moving "virtually" between different locations associated and connected to 2G and/or 3G mobile systems. For example:

  • Simulation of the signaling traffic between GERAN and MSC / SGSN.
  • Simulation of the signaling traffic between the UTRAN and 3GMSC / SGSN.
  • Verification of circuit switched bearer channel connectivity.
  • Verification of packet flow for data connections.

The Nexus8610 Traffic Simulation System offers a complete solution for any kind of handover testing between 2G / 3G mobile networks. Connected to the A, Gb, and Iu interface the test system is able to simulate mobile-device users moving within the radio access network or changing between the different technologies.

Test cases are available for all combinations of handover:

  • At the A interface, simulating mobile equipment performing GSM handovers, or simulating an MSC for mobiles changing between different BSS. The bearer channel connectivity is tested.
  • At the Gb interface, simulating mobile equipment performing GPRS handovers within the same or different routing areas, or simulating a SGSN for mobiles changing between different BSS. Packet loss in the user plane is tested.
  • At the Iu interface, simulating mobile equipment performing UMTS handovers for circuit or packet switched operation, or simulating a SGSN or 3GMSC for mobiles changing between different RNCs.
  • Handover of mobile equipment changing from a 3G cell to a 2G cell connected at the IuCS / A interface or at the IuPS / Gb interface.
  • Handover of mobile equipment changing from a 2G cell to a 3G cell connected at the A / IuCS interface or at the Gb / IuPS interface.

Nexus8610 test cases are standardized so that the user can configure all kinds of handovers in the same way irrespective of technology or interface. The number of simulated mobile entities performing handover can range from single units to several thousands . Simulation always includes control and user channel.