PerformLTE tesbed follows a holistic approach combining different type of equipments, LTE radio access emulators equipments, Evolved Nodes B (eNBs), User Equipments (UEs) both commercial and engineered to provide measurements, and an Evolved Packet Core (EPC) emulation system. All these elements can be combined and experimentation can be performed in all the components of a LTE network. In general terms LTE connectivity is provided through three different solutions, each one with a focus on a different research aspect, moving between emulation and real-world environments, three main scenarios can be differentiated based on the radio access type:

1. Scenario based on a LTE radio access emulator (traditionally use for conformance testing) which provides a full LTE end to end emulation, including channel emulation with different fading profiles and operation in all the standardized LTE bands, both FDD and TDD. These equipments provides configuration of multiple levels of the LTE Radio Access Network (RAN) stack, so researches can study the effect of different parameters as well as the motorization of the full network.

Figure 1 LTE radio access emulator

Figure 1 LTE radio access emulator

2. Scenario based on commercial off-the-shelf eNBs connected to a commercial EPC. This scenario provides configurations very close to the one provided by operators. Experimenters are able to carry out their test in a realistic and dedicated LTE deployment.

3. Scenario based on commercial LTE networks, in which the testbed offers devices connected to commercial mobile networks. Devices are equipped with TestelDroid, a tool which enables the monitoring of radio information and IP traffic. These information can be correlated in order to troubleshoot IP issues related on radio impairments.

Figure 2 Experimentation scenarios available at PerformLTE testbed

Figure 2 Experimentation scenarios available at PerformLTE testbed

The testbed integrates OMF and OML. These experimentation interfaces enables the orchestration and configuration of the elements of an experiment using a standard description (OEDL), that provides a flexible and programmatic way of executing experiments and collecting results and is under integration to provide resource reservation via the Fed4fire portal.

Figure 3 OML and OMF integration into the first scenario

Figure 3 OML and OMF integration into the first scenario

All the experimentation scenarios can be used with Android phones instrumented phones that provides information of the network extracted from the UE side as well as capture incoming and outcoming IP traffic that can be later used with post-processing tools to correlate KPIs from different layers of the stack, including QoE measurements based on subjective perception estimation. Additionally a power analyzer can be connected to the UEs in order to obtain also information about energy consumption which remains one of the most important challenges of future mobile communication.

Figure 4 Power consumption analyzer

Figure 4 Power consumption analyzer

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