Challenges of Testing CPEs

Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) represents those equipment devices provided to consumers for use in their home office or other workspaces, including routers and set-top boxes. The devices historically have connected directly to the carrier's equipment but are becoming smarter to include backhaul access to 3G, 4G, 5G and Over-the-Air (OTA) networks.  

Testing CPE devices that have cellular capabilities can be a costly and often frustrating exercise. Often, the test lab does not have clear access to wireless network connectivity, so the test results are less than optimal. In many cases, the costs to connect to cellular service providers’ networks to perform testing becomes very expensive as the number of tests required increases. Test operators need a solution that is reliable, cost-effective, and eliminates the need to use the carrier’s network.  

Problems Using the Public Network to test UE include:  

  • Pay per use – multiple SIM cards and data overages  
  • Not deterministic – network conditions may change randomly  
  • Difficult or impossible to set certain scenarios including Dual-SIM, IPv6  
  • Cannot isolate the device and network away from other interference   
  • Cannot emulate specific PLMNs and LTE bands  
  • Cannot select specific IMSIs you want to enable/disable on the fly  

Mobile UE testing has continued to increase in complexity as technologies have innovated and become more ubiquitous. With Valid8’s M5 UE Tester, test engineers have the luxury of a platform that is user-friendly, comprehensive, and flexible. With extensive support available, and a clear upgrade path through, businesses can be confident in their current and future testing.

Email to request our full white paper Best Practices for Testing Customer-Premises Equipment (CPE).

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