The need is greater than ever to roll out 5G network sites into operation as operators push 5G services to the market.
Drive testing is one such challenge that is often taken for granted and may not be considered by many operators as a key driving factor in the grand scheme of things.
We think differently at Rakuten Symphony; we assess every opportunity and business process to improve and challenge the industry norm.
Lack of automation: Even today, drive testing for telco sites is done manually, beginning with drive test assignments and performing tests with guided test procedures in the field. This is followed by copying the collected logs into the local system, log processing and ends with report creation for site acceptance. Every manual step can cause delay and the possibility of errors.
Inexperienced field-testing engineers: Test cases for 5G are more complex and require additional skills and training to support drive tests.
Ineffective communication in network testing: The possibility of errors is always a concern with verbal and email communication. The disparity between what test should be performed in the field vs. what is actually done in the field results in misalignment and delays.
Slower drive test logs post-processing: Due to the limited resources available on the RF engineer's laptop, post-processing of drive logs requires more time to generate insights and build the site acceptance report.
With these challenges, site acceptance, a key milestone in network rollout, becomes a time-consuming process, delaying the overall time to on-air.
"Innovation and intelligent tools are required to transform this process into a solution for today’s challenges; therefore, we have developed Sympulse."
Rakuten Symphony's Sympulse product has been designed with CSPs' needs in mind. It offers an advanced way of doing network drive testing with cutting-edge automation and cloud-based post-processing. It also improves site acceptance, drive testing time, and helps in better workforce utilization.
Sympulse fully supports advanced technologies such as 5G SA, 5G NSA, LTE, VOLTE, and NB-IoT, and is compliant with the 3GPP standards.
Advanced automation workflow: Sympulse provides an automation workflow in which every task is automated and validated, making the life of an RF Engineer easier.
After a new 5G site is integrated, an auto trigger for drive testing is initiated. The RF engineer assigns the drive test assignment from the web portal, which appears as a notification on the field engineer's mobile, to perform the task using a predefined script. Drive testing is performed with three simple steps:
Pre-defined 5G customized field test scripts: Improve network quality by creating drive-test scenarios that comprise multiple testing ingredients. Run on an automated basis and capture different network performance measurements to ensure superior service quality, eliminating miscommunication.
Cloud-based post-processing and Layer 3 analytics: The RF Engineer no longer has to wait for the field engineer to manually submit log files for post-processing.
Sympulse auto-syncs drive test logs done from the field itself. With the help of cloud-based faster post-processing of collected data, RF engineers can start analyzing the performance KPIs to derive valuable insights without delay.
Auto Site Acceptance: Engineers do not need to copy the drive logs to their local systems, then post-process them to create reports and determine whether the site is a pass or fail. Instead, Sympulse facilitates the auto-sync of drive test logs and auto-report generation and acceptance based on customer-provided network performance KPI metrics and criteria, saving time and reducing the possibility of human error.
In this competitive era, where 5G technology is transforming the market and opening new revenue streams, every CSP must rollout technology faster, which requires solutions and products that offer advanced methods and automation. This is why we developed Sympulse.