Viavi introduces 3D geolocation for 5G networks

Looking to ‘command’ 5G infrastructures, network monitoring and assurance technology firm unveils what it claims is first patented 3D 5G geolocation system

Viavi Solutions has expanded its Nitro Mobile assurance portfolio with two new offerings that it claims “transform” 5G radio access network (RAN) planning and performance engineering.

The two products, GEOperformance 5G and Coverage Assurance 5G, are designed to give operators a 3D view of 5G coverage and subscriber experience, allowing them to make substantial changes to 5G RAN planning and performance engineering.

Combined, said Viavi, they allow mobile operators to move from a position of managing and assuring without visibility to one where comprehensive visibility allows them to attract new vertical markets and drive new revenue streams.

A 2D view will not cut it in 5G network assurance, said Steve Urvik, vice-president and general manager, visibility, intelligence and analytics at Viavi. “In urban areas, which are the first locations to gain 5G, a 2D representation of 5G coverage in a multi-floor office building will be virtually meaningless. Operators wouldn’t be able to intelligently optimise subscriber experience based on that and it certainly wouldn’t be granular enough for them to exploit new commercial 5G and IoT [internet of things] opportunities.

Stéphane Téral, chief analyst at research organisation LightCounting, added: “Operators need more than just 5G troubleshooting, though that’s important too. They need to build inroads to new vertical markets. If operators are to convince verticals of their value as a partner, a real-world view of coverage and the experience of the network has to be a fundamental starting point.”

Viavi said GEOperformance 5G gives a 3D view of 5G NR (New Radio) measurements, as well as 2G, 3G and 4G measurements, allowing mobile operators to plan, assure and optimise multi-technology networks as they build out their 5G networks. The user interface allows engineers to view tables and 3D maps showing radio-frequency KPIs [key performance indicators] such as signal strength and interference, based on actual geolocated measurements.

These maps and tables can be analysed and filtered to identify problems such as areas of high drop call rates, it said. An automated problem detection functionality also guides engineers to areas of the network that do not meet defined KPI thresholds.

By contrast, Coverage Assurance 5G is engineered to deliver a subscriber-centric view of 5G quality of experience, combined with automated workflows designed to improve the subscriber experience, said Viavi. It also details how services and applications are experiencing the 5G network to improve performance from every facet.

Both products are powered by the company’s Network Integrated Test, Real-time analytics and Optimisation (NITRO) intelligence platform.

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