Anritsu Corporation (President Hirokazu Hamada) announces the May 08 release of the company’s upgraded Network Master Pro MT1000A as the world’s smallest-in-class handheld tester supporting 100 Gbps with eCPRI/RoE and high-accuracy delay measurement functions added via a firmware update.
Fifth generation (5G) communications networks support various advanced requirements, such as ultra-fast speeds, very high reliability and low latency as well as multiple simultaneous connections, are now being investigated. As a result, not only are new wireless technologies such as beamforming and mmWave, being adopted but also new wired network architectures are being deployed. For example, the CPRI base station interface deployed since the 3G era is being extended to Ethernet-based eCPRI/RoE. However, since Ethernet is a best-effort technology, network latency times demand very strict management. Moreover, 5G requires many more base stations because it uses high frequency radio bands such as mmWave that do not propagate over long distances and each base station is synchronized using PTP technology.
The announced MT1000A eCPRI/RoE and high-accuracy delay measurement functions are critical technologies for measuring throughput and latency and performing high-accuracy time synchronization tests at installation and maintenance (I&M) of 5G mobile networks carrying eCPRI/RoE traffic.
Mobile operators and base station vendors are progressing with testing and development targeting 5G rollout, while network and communications infrastructure I&M businesses are urgently requesting test equipment supporting both today’s and future measurement requirements.
Anritsu upgraded MT1000A with strengthened functions for 5G mobile networks will support customer’s measurement needs and help early and easy deployment of high-speed networks.
Rollout of 5G services requires ultra-fast speeds, high-reliability and low latency, as well as multiple simultaneous connections. Meeting these requirements requires a revolutionary change in network architecture combining both wireless and wired technologies. From the aspect of ultra-fast speed, the CPRI wired interface used by most current base stations transports data with only about 6% efficiency, creating an overall network speed bottleneck even when speeds over the wireless sections are increased. Looking at latency, networks require end-to-end latency of less that 1 ms but since ‘end-to-end’ here means the time between the mobile terminal and core network, one-way communications over the wired network must be handled in about 100 µs.
To solve these issues, mobile operators and base-station vendors are making plans to use a new Ethernet-based protocol called Ethernet Common Public Radio Interface (eCPRI) or IEEE 1914.3 Radio over Ethernet (RoE). Since Ethernet is already in use as a high-speed interface at up to 100 Gbps, eCPRI/RoE can be implemented easily at low cost while supporting ultra-fast speeds. Transitioning mobile networks to Ethernet will support Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) network architectures with small data centers deployed closer to mobile terminals for shorter latency times.
Anritsu’s MT1000A has a proven track record as a reliable tester for 10G, 25G, and 100G Metro, Access and Mobile networks and this new firmware update adding support for eCPRI/RoE traffic with high-accuracy latency measurements has been developed as an effective solution meeting future measurement requirements.
The Network Master Pro MT1000A is a portable handheld tester for evaluating the transmission quality of different communications networks operating at speeds from 10 Mbps to 100 Gbps. In addition to supporting RFC2544, Y.1564 and may other network evaluation test standards, it also supports Sync-E and IEEE 1588v2 tests. Furthermore, combined with the optional High Performance GPS Disciplined Oscillator MU100090A supports time synchronization tests based on GPS time data as well as high-accuracy one-way latency measurements between two remote MT1000A units. Adding test items as custom options helps optimize equipment capital investment efficiency.
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■ All-in-one Network Evaluations Including eCPRI/RoE
The MT1000A supports eCPRI/RoE/CPRI, Ethernet, OTN, Fibre Channel, SDH/SONET, and PDH/DSn. As a result, one MT1000A can perform BER, Throughput, and Latency tests of mixed communications networks configured using the latest optical to current digital communications standards. Combined use with the OTDR module also supports optical fiber maintenance.
■ Throughput and Latency Measurements between Two Remote Locations
Linking two MT1000A units as a local (master) and remote (slave) enables control of the remote from the local unit for measuring the uplink speed (data speed from mobile to server) at the local MT1000A while simultaneously and accurately measuring the downlink speed at the remote unit. Combination with GPS time data from the MU100090A option also supports high-accuracy latency measurements.
■ Time Synchronization Measurements using PTP
Overall network timing is a key factor in assuring faster speeds and higher reliability. Installing the High Performance GPS Disciplined Oscillator MU100090A receiver option with built-in accurate rubidium reference clock in the MT1000A supports evaluation of the time synchronization accuracy (Time Error measurement).
■ High Work Efficiency using Automated Measurement
Instead of remote control from an external controller such as a PC, the MT1000A itself supports both automated testing and Pass/Fail evaluations. Even novice operators with little experience of using the tester can run network tests, perform Pass/Fail evaluation of results, and create test reports efficiently and easily.
[Target Markets and Applications]
■ Target Markets: mobile operators, communications network installation companies, communications equipment vendors
■ Target Applications: Installation, maintenance and troubleshooting of communications networks and data centers, evaluation of communications equipment