Test company EXFO said this week that its test solutions were used by China Mobile for a major assessment of performance capabilities for the core networks of four “major vendors” as the Chinese carrier prepares to deploy a narrowband internet of things network.

The performance validation test was conducted in order to establish that the virtualized network cores from each of the four vendors could support up to 5 million NB-IoT devices.

“Handling the IoT traffic is fundamentally different from the traditional mobile broadband or [voice over LTE]traffic,” according to EXFO. “Validating the equipment and the network is crucial to ensure that [carriers]deliver the quality of experience expected by end users while avoiding costly post-deployment faults.”

EXFO said that its test solution was chosen for the NB-IoT testing for three primary reasons: performance (including the capability of simulating millions of IoT devices on one server), flexibility and broad test coverage.

“Communication service providers have to ensure that new IoT equipment introduced into the network will be compatible with existing network nodes before they go live,” Claudio Mazzuca, EXFO’s VP for systems and analytics.

In other test news:

National Instruments has released the latest version of its LabView NXG engineering system design software. NI said that major features of the release include WebVI for building web-based user interfaces that can be deployed to a web browser on any device without a plug-in; expanded hardware support for “thousands of box instruments” as well as NI’s PXI instruments; and a new SystemDesigner feature that aims to reduce hardware configuration time by automatically detecting connected instruments, showing which drivers have been installed and linking to available NI or third-party drivers if they are needed.

Rohde & Schwarz launched a new series of half a dozen probe models for power measurements, with DC measuring accuracy within 0.5 percent; the series range supports testing of power electronics up to 6000 volts and they are integrated with the user interface of the company’s oscilloscopes, which automatically detect the probes’ settings, including configured attenuation.

Rohde also expanded its power rail probe portfolio for IoT with a new probe that has 4 GHz bandwidth and is aimed at embedded mobile and IoT devices.

OpenSignal has released its latest round of crowd-sourced, device-based data analysis of user experience on U.S. carrier networks, and T-Mobile US continues to do particularly well in the speed category. Full story here.

-Several test companies made note of recent awards this week. Ixia — now part of Keysight Technologies — won a reader’s choice award for telecom innovation in test and measurement from Telecom Asia for its IxLoad LTE Xair2 LTE emulation offering, as well as receiving recognition from Frost & Sullivan for leadership in the network packet broker market for end-to-end network monitoring. Keysight received a Frost award as well, for its comprehensive software and hardware strategy in test and measurement equipment.

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