Signals Research Group Uses Spirent Testing Solution to Reveal Significant Differences in HSPA+ Chipset Performance
May 3, 2011
Benchmark testing of HSPA and HSPA+ chipsets and devices from nine leading suppliers uncovers important performance differences that impact mobile subscriber experience
Sunnyvale, Calif. – May 3, 2011 — Signals Research Group, LLC (SRG) has announced the findings of the industry’s only independent HSPA+ and HSPA chipset data performance benchmark test. The SRG report reveals large performance differences between HSPA+ chipsets and devices, as well as between commercial devices and solutions supplied directly by vendors. SRG leveraged the capabilities of Spirent’s lab-based 8100 Mobile Device Test System to obtain the performance data used in the report.
“Unlike years past, no single company dominated the competition; however there still remains a meaningful performance gap between commercially-procured devices and vendor-supplied solutions,” said Michael Thelander, CEO, Signals Research Group. “This suggests that, while the industry is reaching a degree of maturity, in particular with the lower category chipsets, these improved features have yet to enter the distribution channel.”
Using a lab-based testing approach with the Spirent 8100 solution, SRG collected and analyzed performance results of 16 different device/chipset configurations from nine chipset companies, including HiSilicon (Huawei), Icera, Intel Mobile Communications, MediaTek, Motorola, Qualcomm, Renesas Mobile, Samsung, and ST-Ericsson. These configurations included seven HSPA+ (Category 14, up to 21Mbps) devices from five chipset suppliers, and nine HSPA (Category 8, up to 7.2Mbps or Category 10, up to 14.4Mbps) devices from six chipset suppliers.
The report indicates that, although the variation between vendor-supplied chipsets is becoming less significant, the biggest differences exist with HSPA+ chipsets. In some test scenarios, SRG found that commercially-available HSPA+ devices underperformed their peers by more than 50 percent, indicating opportunities for significant improvement. The findings in the report clearly illustrate that testing chipset and device performance beyond minimum certification requirements uncovers performance differences which can significantly impact a subscriber’s satisfaction with a particular device, not to mention degrade the overall performance of the operator’s 3G network.
“The most compelling finding, however, was that late entrants into the 3G chipset market have highly competitive solutions that rival the best chipsets that the industry has to offer,” Thelander added . “Today’s dominant chipset suppliers will need to continue to advance the performance of their chipsets if they expect to maintain their market leadership.”
This recent round of tests marked the fifth time that SRG and Spirent have collaborated on chipset performance testing and was by far the most comprehensive to date. For the HSPA and HSPA+ data performance benchmark test, the Spirent 8100 solution was used to subject all the devices and chipsets to the exact same sets of network conditions, automatically repeating each test multiple times to generate statistically significant, objective results
The tests measured the downlink throughput and key performance indicators of each chipset at the application layer under a wide range of realistic network conditions. The test scenarios, based on test specifications from the 3GPP, included various static conditions as well as industry-standard pedestrian fading and vehicular fading conditions. In total, 42 HSPA+ test scenarios and 26 HSPA test scenarios were used.
A complete analysis of the HSPA+ and HSPA chipset performance benchmark is contained in SRG’s latest report. For more information please visit www.signalsresearch.com.
For more information on testing HSPA+ and HSPA chipsets and mobile devices visit http://www.spirent.com/Devices-and-Equipment/Radio_Access.aspx.