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Leading tech company rethinks VoLTE quality assurance

Case Study

Challenge

Current latency measurement solutions for LTE networks are sizeable, complex and cost-prohibitive. To address this challenge, an industry leading technology company needed to develop a solution offering the same level of precision but at a lower TCO and with less complexity.

Solution

The tech company selected Napatech’s FPGA-driven SmartNICs to enable latency measurements with nanosecond precision. A correlation mechanism was implemented to identify and trace the packet propagation through the entire network.

Benefits

Powered by Napatech, the technology company could deliver a cost-efficient and compact solution that enables:

  • network-wide latency measurements
  • real-time insight into any issues degrading the VoLTE or VoWiFi

Industry pain points
With the arrival of 4G, and 5G on the rise, service providers are pushed by the market to launch Voice over Long Term Evolution (VoLTE) and Voice/Video over WiFi (VoWiFI). For these time-critical services, Quality of Experience (QoE) is a crucial factor. But without the ability to accurately measure and control packet latency, subscribers are likely to experience service disruptions or poor voice or video quality.

Client challenge
While the market offers a substantial selection of high-precision latency measurement solutions, these tend to be sizeable, closed and cost-prohibitive, adding excessive pressure on OPEX. Moreover, these solutions are often extremely complex, requiring dedicated and costly engineering expertise.

In addressing this challenge, an industry leading technology company was tasked to develop a solution for their service provider customers, offering the same level of precision but at a lower total cost of ownership and with less complexity.

Our solution
The tech company selected Napatech’s FPGA-driven SmartNIC hardware and software to accelerate their solution and enable latency measurements with nanosecond precision.

To uniquely identify individual packets and track their propagation through the network, Napatech implemented a hash-based correlation mechanism that added a “fingerprint” to each packet. This feature enabled intelligent comparison between two packets, taking into account changing header information and checksums.

 

Combined with Napatech’s nanosecond precision timestamping capabilities, this correlation key allowed each packet to be accurately timestamped, traced and measured as it traversed the network. This made it possible to map out delays between different tap points providing a fully reliable, real-time portrayal of the overall network latency.

The Napatech SmartNIC brought the capability to recognize different kinds of traffic, even when transported in tunnels like GPRS Tunneling Protocol (GTP). It provided full theoretical throughput and added the intelligence to balance the load across available processing resources to ensure minimum pressure on the CPUs.

Benefits
With nanosecond timestamp and time-synchronization, the solution enables QoE measurements between multiple points in a network at any port speed. This ensures that packet latency can be quickly detected.

With this solution, users get a state-of-the-art analytics engine that provides real-time insight into the network and overview of any issues degrading the VoLTE or VoWiFi quality across the infrastructure.

The solution is highly cost-efficient as it is based on standard servers and continually scales with increasing network speeds and traffic loads.

Compared to alternative market offerings, this solution requires significantly less rack space and provides better coverage with fewer hardware components.

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