Our client is a leading network operator and internet service provider in Europe, servicing over 30 million connections across its mobile, fixed and wholesale networks.
Mobile technology has been evolving away from Time Division Multiplexed (TDM) and towards Internet Protocol (IP). However, interconnect has changed little from the original solution for 2G. The client’s current TDM estate is expensive, with the annual costs for the other party interconnects on the Nokia Networks core exceeding £3m. The benefits of moving to IP will include:
- Improved cross network voice quality e.g. HD voice
- Voice and data integration into a combined infrastructure with a single Quality of Service (QoS)
- Solution enablement for IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) voice interconnect
- Reduction of national interconnect sites
This project will deliver Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) interconnects to telecom operators so the client can become an IP interconnect enabler. The protocols used will be either Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) or Bearer Independent Call Control (BICC) and could be either Trusted and Semi-Trusted security models, where the Semi-Trusted Model design includes a Session Border Controller (SBC).
The client required QualiTest’s assistance to provide all of the testing from Interoperability Testing within the Test Environment facilities to Operational Readiness Testing within the clients live environment. Both forms of testing required QualiTest to build relationships with each of the other operators involved in the Interconnect.
The QualiTest Solution
QualiTest has been involved on this project from the start, with a dedicated test team ensuring full coverage of all testing types required including:
- Functional – confirm all functions work as per design i.e. voice mail, DTMP tones and long call duration by performing voice quality analysis and providing bench marking from TDM to show improvement
- Non-Functional – confirm that performance and security are within acceptable guidelines
- Handover – confirm handover between 3G, 4G, etc. and between operator switches
- Failover – confirm that switch failure reroutes calls over optional switches and routes
- Billing – provide information on billing and Call Detail Records to allow revenue assurance sign off on each of the routes
- Codec Testing – confirm relevant voice codecs Adaptive Multi-Rate (AMR) wide band and AMR narrow band G711 all function correctly and with the correct priorities between operators
QualiTest engaged with all operators involved in the interconnect which presented cultural challenges as each operator approaches testing differently. However, QualiTest’s test team adapted while ensuring delivery to both QualiTest’s and the client’s standards. With some of the smaller operators, this involved assisting them to build their testing knowledge and test packs.
QualiTest’s solution ensured thorough testing of all systems within the program environment, within the required timeframe. Throughout the process, QualiTest were able to increase and decrease the team size when necessary to suit the client’s requirements and meet their goals.
Having one centralized professional test team working on the project and responsible for delivering both Interoperability and Operation Readiness Tests meant reduced dependence on internal resources, introducing several benefits to the client such as increased project speed, test accuracy and reduced costs.
Utilizing its experience, QualiTest was able to bring the other operator testing processes up to speed saving considerable time, cost and resulting in connections with good QoS.