Spirent Communications, Serviceforce.Com collaborate to advance automation of mobile device testing
Date: Thu, 06/11/2009 - 18:20
Spirent Communications plc, the leader in wireless network, services and device testing, announced that it successfully demonstrated that the Spirent Universal Tool Suite (UTS) interface architecture can control ServiceForce.com’s Mobile Robot, a robotic mobile device operator. Spirent’s UTS is a chipset-independent architecture used industry-wide to automate wireless device testing for UMTS, CDMA and EV-DO technologies. This collaborative effort adds an extra level of capability to mobile device testing by making it practical to incorporate test automation into a tool which physically manipulates mobile devices.
Rapid growth in the mobile industry puts device vendors under significant pressure to introduce new products and services quickly. A shortage of experienced test engineers means that test lab managers are looking for new ways increase the productivity of existing resources through automation.
“Complex handset test sequences may take many hours to run, hence the ability to control the handset without operator intervention is vital,” said Gene Kientzy, vice president of Mobile Automation and Multimedia Market Segment at Spirent. “Some customers prefer to accomplish this effort using a mechanical approach that simulates user operation of the device. Our recent proof-of-concept collaboration with ServiceForce.com has shown that, through integration with Spirent’s software test automation suite, mechanical mobile device testing can be an effective and practical alternative to software control."
ServiceForce.com employs a robotic approach to the automation of mobile device testing. The company’s Mobile Robot interacts with mobile devices by simulating actions via a robotic arm and a camera. The robotic arm replicates key presses that would be made by a user while a mounted camera verifies success or failure of the action by making image comparisons. These actions can be repeated indefinitely under stringent test conditions.
“We worked with Spirent to determine the optimal communication mechanisms between Spirent’s test system and our robotic arm,” said Gregg Roper, Business Development manager at ServiceForce.com. “The proof-of-concept exercise demonstrates that an XML-based Spirent UTS interface provides the best one-to-one mapping between the two systems, and that this approach can form the basis for further developments.”
Spirent has a portfolio of solutions that make it easy for test labs to specify, run and analyze results from automated testing of UMTS, CDMA and EV-DO mobile devices. Through automation, vendors and providers are able to perform more thorough and extensive testing of their products faster and test engineers are able to focus their skills on higher value tasks such as troubleshooting and results interpretation.