Ixia today announced the availability of a comprehensive, end-to-end femtocell test solution that fully validates the entire femtocell ecosystem, including access points and gateways.

Ixia’s innovative, powerful, and comprehensive femtocell test solution assesses all network aspects and femtocell devices both individually and as part of an end-to-end system. Ixia’s test solution provides equipment manufacturers and operators with the ability to test major deployment challenges by emulating any node in the femtocell ecosystem, including user equipment, home eNodeBs (HeNBs), HeNB gateways (HeNB GW), and HeNB management systems.

Femtocells are low-power wireless access points that operate in licensed spectrum to connect standard mobile devices to a mobile operator’s network using residential DSL or cable broadband connections. Femtocells offer many potential benefits to both consumers and operators, including increased performance, better coverage, and traffic offload from congested macro cells.

Small cell or femtocell deployments have great market promise, but bring a number of important challenges that must be overcome before products and services can become fully viable. Major challenges include scalability, security, mobility, ease of deployment, and interoperability. These areas must be fully validated to prevent product and service delays, which can ultimately impact small cell market growth.

  Ixia’s femtocell solution addresses all major market challenges by emulating and testing all femtocell network devices. In addition, Ixia’s market-leading, real-world subscriber modeling and sophisticated quality of experience (QoE) measurements provide the ultimate use case scenarios - proving femtocell designs that are ready to handle high-quality next-generation mobile data services (such as live conversational video).

Key facts include:

* Ixia’s IxCatapult testing solution can emulate UEs, HeNBs, HeNB GWs, HeNB management systems, serving gateways (S-GW), and mobility management entities (MME).

* IxCatapult completely validates the femtocell ecosystem end-to-end (including, HeNB, HeNB gateway, MME, and S-Gateway) or isolates the individual components.

* According to recent research by the Yankee Group, 65 percent of carriers expect to build at least some of their LTE coverage using femtocells - from the bottom up - starting late 2012.

* Informa expects the femtocell market to experience significant growth, reaching just under 49 million femtocell access points (FAP) in the market by 2014 and 114 million mobile users accessing mobile networks through femtocells.