Is Your Network Ready for the Internet of Things?
As we approach the early days of 5G adoption, sub-millisecond latency times will enable more devices than ever before to operate wirelessly on telecommunications networks. The bulk of these devices will be connected to the so-called internet of things (IoT), which will include everything from smart appliances to factory floor sensors to home security devices.
Soon, the proliferation of these devices will put unprecedented levels of strain on telco networks. This will increase the pressure that most network operators already face to provide impeccable quality of service with minuscule latency and pack loss.
IoT Device Testing Challenges
Not only will this influx of new devices require more extensive and rigorous testing of telco networks than ever before, it will also make conformance of the IoT devices themselves increasingly necessary.
For most devices that connect to telecom networks, the occasional gap in service isn’t going to lead to a catastrophe. This is partly because things like jitter-free video calling are rarely life-and-death, and also because potentially problematic gaps are easy to notice when a device is in active use.
For IoT devices, on the other hand, even critical outages are sometimes harder to spot because most of the time the devices in question won’t be sending out alerts. This exposes users to potentially disastrous scenarios. For instance, a car crash is a terrible time to discover that your sensors have been kicked off their network and won’t be able to send out an automated emergency call.
For this reason, when testers in this area are sketching out and prioritizing the use cases that require testing, emergency use cases need to be moved up to the top of the list. Target levels of test coverage and accuracy must be as high as possible.
While focusing on emergency use cases will help testers respond to the difference in customer expectations that comes along with these devices, end-to-end service verification can help you manage the fundamentally different ways in which these types of devices will interact with your network.
In a typical smart factory, for instance, you might find IoT devices, middleware and customer applications provided by different vendors running on a variety of platforms. In cases like these, it’s very important to verify the complete service chain end-to-end, but also going beyond at the same time. The Beyond End2End® capabilities of SEGRON's ATF enable a deep dive into service functionality and lead to high quality testing.
SEGRON’s Solutions for IoT Testing
SEGRON has helped a number of clients in the early stages of the IoT explosion to automate critical processes like emergency functionality.
For instance, we used devices from Quectel to automate testing for one of our Swiss customers’ eCall service, which is meant to activate when an IoT-equipped automobile has experienced a crash. By automating IVS, we were able to trigger calls initiated either by the driver or the car itself (in cases where the driver is incapacitated).
This type of emergency functionality is going to be of increasingly high priority for business that are investing in IoT.
By introducing automation into the service verification stages of the IoT device lifecycle, businesses can reduce testing costs considerably and improve service quality in the process.
Because IoT is going to be such a high wire act, especially in its early stages, it is imperative that businesses employ the right technology from the start to ensure proper functionality.