Telecoms operators may not have their third-generation (3G) networks working yet, but at least they now have the equipment to help them create the services, thanks to mobile testing company UbiNetics.
The startup has previewed its TM200 portable test mobile which is designed to help operators speed their 3G service implementations. It is the first truly portable 3G mobile network tester, the company claims.
UbiNetics will demonstrate the TM200 at the 3GSM World Congress in Cannes starting 19 February, and it is due to ship in the third quarter.
It functions as an end user's 3G terminal through which calls can be made and received. This includes browsing the internet, email and video.
As it does so the equipment captures test and measurement data in real time for assessing a mobile network's coverage, performance and quality of service.
"The TM200 will prove the base station," said John Dixon, sales director for the special projects group at UbiNetics. "This includes the soft handover from base station to base station and any signal interference."
He explained that all typical mobile functions are covered, such as registering, making and terminating calls and retrying on the move. It is also possible to simulate an error to test the effect.
The TM200 includes the complete 3G protocol stack for the 3G Partnership Project which brings together a range of telecoms standards.
This will be the dominant transmission format that uses the Wideband Code Division Multiple Access 3G transmission standard to be adopted by most of the world's networks outside the US.
If a laptop or handheld PC is connected, test results can be displayed through UbiNetics' Windows-based software in various graphical forms such as line, bar or pie charts. Data can also be captured to optional flash memory for later analysis.
3G can theoretically achieve 2Mbps. Five 3G networks are scheduled for the UK at present: Vodafone, Orange, mmO2, One2One and Hutchison.
UbiNetics was formed in 1999 out of PA Consulting Group's wireless telecoms practice.
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