When we created our Test and Innovation Center in 1996, it was in response to increased complexity in the network. We decided we needed to create a test environment that mirrored the behaviour of the live network and formed a product platform for purchase decisions and trials, as well as terminal verification for products prior to launch. Already from the beginning Ericsson supports Vodafone in the service area of test channel management.
As testing activity increasing rapidly, our team became concerned that we may have been experiencing bottlenecks in the testing network that were going undetected. Accordingly, in February 2003, we approached Ericsson, which has a long history of cooperation with us in Germany, having supplied much of our 2G and 3G infrastructure.
We requested that they assist us with a performance improvement project as part of our overall testing programme, as well as with the development of our end-to-end network performance and functionality.
The project began with a detailed analysis of the performance data captured, in order to find out whether the bottlenecks actually existed. Then, with the immediate issue dealt with, the project team scrutinized the overall performance testing process.
This included establishing Key Performance Indicators, researching and testing various tools that would generate end-to-end traffic in our Center, and analysing measurement results.
Ericsson's team recommended a selection of new tools and strategies for using the test facility more cost-effectively. One of the tools proposed was Moniq, developed by Ericsson for the intelligent end-to-end performance evaluation of a multi-vendor mobile network.
As part of the project Ericsson also applied its multi-vendor systems integration expertise, developing a series of prototype testing solutions tailored to specific areas within Vodafone. The prototypes were integrated with existing test platforms and are applied in trials to assess testing effectiveness.
A number of additional projects have been developed from the original project due to the excellent operational work and the level of trust we have developed in Ericsson.
Ericsson has also applied its multi-vendor systems integration skills to develop a series of prototype testing solutions tailored to specific areas within Vodafone. The prototypes, which integrate with existing test platforms, can be applied in trials to assess testing effectiveness.
Our Test and Innovation Center has now evolved not only to mirror the live network, but has also become a new platform for nodes and other items. As part of the Performance Improvement Project, Ericsson's project team successfully became Vodafone's consulting partner of choice, not only reacting to network problems, but proactively solving our multi-vendor issues.
Tanja Schmidt-Kriechbaum, Project Manager, Ericsson: "Our goal is to support customers with our extensive expertise in multi-vendor network performance testing gained over many years, rather than with particular products or set solutions. I am delighted that Vodafone views Ericsson as an ongoing systems integration consulting partner, offering truly independent advice, regardless of the network hardware vendor."
Christian Tralle, Head of Reference Test Network and Solutions, Vodafone: "As one of our preferred consulting partners, Ericsson combines experience in multi-vendor network performance testing with excellent telecoms know-how. Ericsson understands our needs."
Multi-Vendor Integration Case Study
Find out how Ericsson helped us develop our end-to-end testing performance and functionality.