Industrial Electronics

Rohde & Schwarz launches Benchmarker 3 to drive network benchmarking evolution

14 February 2023

Driven by overall technological evolution in telecommunications, the entire mobile network ecosystem is becoming more and more dynamic and complex for mobile network operators (MNOs). Versatile network technologies up-to 5G, infrastructure and new architecture like Open RAN co-exist, and the ongoing deployment of private networks adds more complexity. Today’s relevant mobile network information and data can be obsolete tomorrow. Therefore, it is essential for MNOs to efficiently collect and process data in a very short time to maximize benefits. To this end, Rohde & Schwarz is launching the next generation benchmarking solution, featuring the Benchmarker 3 data collection platform and a set of unique features that will allow MNOs to reduce complexity and costs while gaining more value out of their collected data.

High data quality for reliable results

Since the beginnings of cellular technology, Rohde & Schwarz has been a pioneer and market leader for radio frequency and quality of experience (QoE)-centric testing solutions. Now, the company is introducing Benchmarker 3, the third generation of its own benchmarking hardware and the technological core of the data collection equipment. Rohde & Schwarz experts designed and manufactured the new hardware, bringing together decades of expertise in hardware product engineering and in-house production, close collaboration with customers and extensive experience from multi-national network benchmarking projects. Benchmarker 3 offers a reduced footprint for easier installation and fewer computing components for the same number of measurement devices making it easier to configure and maintain. New airflow management enables temperature control also for devices that tend to overheat when handling high 5G data throughput. The modular concept enables an easy expansion that can be applied to new installations as well as existing Benchmarker II systems.

New Benchmarker 3 in drive test scenario, ensuring uniform and stable test conditions. Source: Rohde & SchwarzNew Benchmarker 3 in drive test scenario, ensuring uniform and stable test conditions. Source: Rohde & Schwarz

All these factors are combined in the new Benchmarker 3 and ensure uniform, stable conditions and highly reliable operations during large-scale network benchmarking measurement campaigns. In summary, the data collection platform has higher performance, a more compact design, is lighter, consumes less power and is fully backward compatible with the components of its forerunner Benchmarker II.

Smart campaign automation to reduce OPEX

To reduce operational expenses (OPEX) and simplify tiresome recurring tasks, Rohde & Schwarz offers cloud-based configurations as well as a set of state-of-the-art features to remotely control and monitor the test system. Along with the launch of Benchmarker 3, Rohde & Schwarz is introducing new smart end-to-end campaign automation management that automates multiple background tasks for the entire workflow of a network benchmarking measurement campaign and orchestrates data collection, fleet management and post processing.

More value from data in shorter time

Extracting fast and relevant insights from the collected data is key, especially since more dynamic and versatile network environments require shorter reaction times. In order to address this, Rohde & Schwarz has enhanced its proven SmartAnalytics suite with new features, including the generation of automated insights and reports, more efficient management of big data from continuous benchmarking campaigns combined with new special data structures for long-term and historical trend analysis as well as smart end-to-end campaign automation. In combination with machine learning assisted test use cases, SmartAnalytics now has higher performance and can extract more value out of collected data in shorter time than ever before.

Harmonized test methodology reduces complexity

Rohde & Schwarz network benchmarking solutions support the ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) harmonized test methodology documented in TR 103 559. The integrative scoring methodology substantially reduces complexity since it indicates the network performance based on terabytes of aggregated data in a single performance score per operator. Moreover, SmartAnalytics offers a seamless direct drill down feature that navigates in a few clicks from the high-level view to the application view and down to lower layers, including the physical network layer. Users can retrieve single test samples from terabytes of data, identify root-causes of failed test samples and understand how these impact QoE.

The Rohde & Schwarz network benchmarking solutions empower mobile network operators and regulatory authorities across the globe to transparently and systematically assess and increase the quality and performance of mobile networks, in order to enhance the perceived quality for end-users. Rohde & Schwarz is showcasing its next generation network benchmarking solution, including the new Benchmarker 3, at MWC2023 in Barcelona (booth 5A80) from February 27 to March 2, 2023.

To contact the author of this article, email GlobalSpecEditors@globalspec.com


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