The complexity of wireless networks will increase more quickly in the next five years than it did in the previous fifteen due to the rapid advent of broadband service. These networks will need to quickly move from supporting voice-centric to implementing data-intensive applications. This urgency comes from the need to defray the steep entry costs paid by wireless operators worldwide. The progression from fixed desktop applications to mobile office with hand-held devices requires a far more robust and flexible network, with richer content, than simple circuit switching technology permits. To be useful and profitable, the content provided by these connections will need to be timely, topical and customized to the needs of the user. Customers will demand always-on connections, ready at a moment's notice. As these new networks integrate third-generation (3G) technologies, they will increasingly migrate toward data-optimized, packet-switched topologies from current voice-optimized network design.
Previous technologies for test access in wireless networks are proving to be insufficient for the widely-distributed, heavily-loaded, mission-critical networks toward which wireless carriers are evolving. The days of telecom testers laboriously searching through equipment racks for test ports, while network downtime mounts, have changed. Customer expectations of higher quality service mandate a stronger focus on testing and service assurance, as well as proactive monitoring programs to track network performance and resolve network problems before they become network outages.
Deployment of a Network Test Access (NTA) system maximizes the ROI on planned 3G networks by ensuring more cost-effective and efficient test access and service. At the same time, NTA solutions reduce costs associated with maintaining and upgrading legacy networks.