Aeroflex Adds Adaptive Multi-Rate (AMR) Option to 6113 Basestation Tester

2/13/2006 - Aeroflex has launched an AMR (Adaptive Multi-Rate) option for its highly successful 6113 base station tester to complement its existing GSM and GPRS/EDGE test capability.

AMR is a relatively new network upgrade that positively impacts customer satisfaction and retention by enabling operators to substantially improve the quality of their voice services. However, AMR features need to be properly set up, optimised and maintained if subscribers are to get the full quality of service benefits that AMR can deliver.

The 6113 is regarded by many as the standard test equipment for base station testing and the new AMR option extends its test coverage to enable testing of AMR-specific elements of the basestation, in particular those parts that include AMR codecs in the signal path. Its A-bis control and decode capability, allows both the transmitter and receiver paths to be fully tested whereas most other testers can only make limited transmitter path tests and are unable to make any receiver measurements or fully exercise AMR functionality. Unique receiver tests include bit error rate (BER) and frame erasure rate (FER). The AMR option also includes a "live" mode that allows testing to be carried out without taking the basestation out of service ensuring 100% uptime during testing.

Two key, additional features of the 6113 AMR option include a rate adaptation test and a combined traffic/signalling channel BER test. The rate-adaptation test is not only used for checking that the base station is correctly measuring the carrier to interference ratio (C/I) but also as a tool for optimising the thresholds and hysterisis settings used to trigger rate-adaptation. To do this the BER/FER for different codec rates is measured and logged. The combined traffic/signaling BER test is included to help operators diagnose problems where calls are dropped despite AMR successfully maintaining speech quality in poor signal conditions. Although AMR successfully protects the traffic channel, the signalling channel does not use AMR and interference on this channel can cause calls to be dropped. The combined test allows the BER on the AMR traffic channel and on the signalling channel to be tested simultaneously.

As well as being available on all new equipment, the 6113 AMR option is also available as an upgrade for existing 6113 test sets thereby protecting operators’ existing capital equipment investment. Approximately 2,000 6113 test sets are already deployed worldwide making it the industry-standard basestation test tool amongst GSM operators. The 6113 AMR option provides test support for equipment from all the major base station manufacturers including, Ericsson, Nokia, Nortel and Siemens.

"GSM continues to be the dominant standard for mobile communications and is seeing constant enhancement with increasing numbers of networks rolling out EDGE and AMR capability," said Pete Nicholson, Infrastructure Business Unit Manager at Aeroflex Test Solutions, Wireless Division. "The new AMR option extends the capability of the 6113 to support installation, maintenance and detailed fault-finding on AMR-enabled GSM base stations from the major manufacturers. Besides these applications, the 6113 has proved to be very popular with engineering teams within operators and vendors who are responsible for base station evaluation, detailed fault-finding and regression testing of new software releases."

About Aeroflex
Aeroflex Incorporated is a global provider of high technology solutions to the aerospace, defence, cellular and broadband communications markets. The company’s diverse technologies allow it to design, develop, manufacture and market a broad range of test, measurement and microelectronic products. The company’s common stock trades on the Nasdaq National Market System under the symbol ARXX and is included in the S&P SmallCap 600 index.

About Aeroflex Test Solutions, Wireless Division
Aeroflex Wireless offers a full range of protocol, physical layer and parametric test solutions for the cellular communications industry. Its products address infrastructure and mobile handset testing and support all stages of mobile phone and radio access network equipment development and deployment. Applications include R&D, conformance, production, installation and commissioning, field service, and network optimization. Aeroflex's wireless products test all key 2G, 2.5G and 3G wireless technologies including UMTS, cdmaOne, CDMA2000, TD-SCDMA, GSM, GPRS, and EDGE worldwide.

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