Friday, 15 May 2009

Testing UMTS protocols

Testing UMTS by Dan Fox, Anritsu

Its nearly three years since I wrote an FAQ on UMTS Testing. So when I got my hands on this book the other day, I so wanted to read it. It would be a while before I manage to go through the book in detail but my initial impression is that this book looks quite good.

Since the book deals with Protocol Testing, the testing has been grouped into three categories:

  1. Integration Testing
  2. Conformance Testing
  3. Interoperability Testing

There is a chapter explaining each of these. The Conformance testing is of interest to me as I have been involved directly and indirectly with this for quite some years now. The book explains the process, standards required and submission of tests to GCF/PTCRB.

For those whom testing does not hold much charm, they can gain greater understanding of the concepts by reading Part II of the book. One thing I really liked in this book is that the diagrams explain the concepts very well. Rather than copying them straight from the 3GPP specifications, they have been improved and re-done by the author. Basic things like 'Dynamic TFCI selection' and 'Layer 2 transport channel processing flow for the 12.2 kbps RMC' are explained clearly using the diagrams.

There is just the right amount of detail in the chapters for Physical Layer, Layer 2 (MAC, RLC, PDCP) and Layer 3 (RRC, NAS). Further chapters show message flow sequence charts explaining things like 'setting up of speech call' and 'location updating procedure'. I have some basic sequence diagrams for message flow in the Tutorial section but the ones in the book are comparatively more detailed.

The book mainly covers UMTS, with an introduction to HSPA. It would be worthwhile to have the next edition covering LTE in detail. The main reason being that there are lots of changes in the case of LTE. The Air Interface has changed, the channels are different. The NAS messages and entities are different. UMTS (and HSPA) use TTCN-2 for testing but LTE uses TTCN-3. UMTS does not use MIMO (MIMO available for HSPA from Release 7 onwards) but LTE would generally always use MIMO.

Overall, this seems to be a useful book and I am looking forward to reading it in detail.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello mate,

Do you know if (and where from) I can get my hands on a soft copy. I tried the usual places this does not seem to exist.