GL Communications has rolled out an enhanced Message Automation and Protocol Simulation (MAPS) LTE Emulator for X2 interface, which now features call control scripts to manage UE and non-UE procedures.

Simply put, LTE is made up of a "packet core" and a network of evolved Node B (eNodeB), which have two interfaces—the X2 interface that permits eNodeBs to talk to each other directly and the S1 interface that allows talking to the packet core, according to Jagdish Vadalia, senior manager for product development at GL Communications.

MAPS is a multi-protocol, multi-technology platform used for the emulation of a variety of communication protocols over IP, TDM and wireless networks, said Vadalia, noting that the architecture can be used to test signalling over legacy networks, such as CAS, SS7, ISDN, PPP and more; IP networks, such as SIP, MGCP, MEGACO, SIGTRAN, diameter; and also wireless technologies including GSM, UMTS and LTE network.

The MAPS X2 application protocol (X2-AP) interface emulator enables coordinating handovers and performing load management between eNodeB network elements—source eNodeB and target eNodeB—in the LTE network over X2 interface to handle UE and non-UE associated procedures. The non-UE procedures, including X2AP setup, reset request, ENB configuration update and resource status request, are automatically handled once the application is started, while the UE procedures, such as mobility management, are handled in the call generation.

"GL’s enhanced LTE X2-AP Interface Emulation tests and verifies eNodeB implementations through its MAPS architecture," said Vadalia. "The MAPS X2-AP test tool is designed with specific test cases, as per LTE 3GPP mobile standards. It supports powerful utilities like Message Editor, Script Editor and Profile Editor, which allow new scenarios to be created or existing scenarios to be modified using messages and parameters."

The application can be integrated within GL’s End-to-End Communications Network Lab (EE-CNL), allowing vendors to simulate, monitor and troubleshoot the network using MAPS 4G wireless lab suite, according to the company.