Testing: Large Performance Difference Between HSPA+ Chipsets, Devices and Solutions Supplied by Vendors

According to Signals Research Group, there is large performance difference between HSPA+ chipsets and devices, as well as between commercial devices and solutions supplied directly by telecom equipment vendors.

Signals Research Group leveraged the capabilities of Spirent’s lab-based 8100 Mobile Device Test System to obtain the performance data used in the industry’s only independent HSPA+ and HSPA chipset data performance benchmark test.

Unlike years past, no single company dominated the competition; however there still remains a meaningful performance gap between commercially-procured devices and vendor-supplied solutions”, said Michael Thelander, CEO, Signals Research Group. This suggests that, while the industry is reaching a degree of maturity, in particular with the lower category chipsets, these improved features have yet to enter the distribution channel”.

Using a lab-based testing approach with the Spirent 8100 solution, SRG collected and analyzed performance results of 16 different device/chipset configurations from nine chipset companies, including HiSilicon (Huawei), Icera, Intel Mobile Communications, MediaTek, Motorola, Qualcomm, Renesas Mobile, Samsung, and ST-Ericsson. These configurations included seven HSPA+ (Category 14, up to 21Mbps) devices from five chipset suppliers, and nine HSPA (Category 8, up to 7.2Mbps or Category 10, up to 14.4Mbps) devices from six chipset suppliers.

The report indicates that, although the variation between vendor-supplied chipsets is becoming less significant, the biggest differences exist with HSPA+ chipsets. In some test scenarios, SRG found that commercially-available HSPA+ devices underperformed their peers by more than 50 percent, indicating opportunities for significant improvement.

The findings in the report clearly illustrate that testing chipset and device performance beyond minimum certification requirements uncovers performance differences which can significantly impact a subscriber’s satisfaction with a particular device, not to mention degrade the overall performance of the operator’s 3G network.

The most compelling finding, however, was that late entrants into the 3G chipset market have highly competitive solutions that rival the best chipsets that the industry has to offer”,  Thelander added. Today’s dominant chipset suppliers will need to continue to advance the performance of their chipsets if they expect to maintain their market leadership”.

For the HSPA and HSPA+ data performance benchmark test, the Spirent 8100 solution was used to subject all the devices and chipsets to the exact same sets of network conditions, automatically repeating each test multiple times to generate statistically significant, objective results.

The tests measured the downlink throughput and key performance indicators of each chipset at the application layer under a wide range of realistic network conditions. The test scenarios, based on test specifications from the 3GPP, included various static conditions as well as industry-standard pedestrian fading and vehicular fading conditions. In total, 42 HSPA+ test scenarios and 26 HSPA test scenarios were used.

 

By TelecomLead.com Team

editor@telecomlead.com