What is Telecom Testing?
Telecom Testing is the testing of Telecommunication software. With the advent of digital and computer networks, software in the telecommunication industry has become a prerequisite. The telecom sector depends on various software components to deliver services such as routing, switching, voice, video, messaging, data, etc.
Why Telecom Testing?
We rarely think of Telecom as having complex software issues; We think of it as either my connection works, or it doesn’t – taking it for granted or being annoyed. As Telecom has become more complex, problems tend to seem significant when they happen, and public failures can lead to bad press, fines, lawsuits, and loss of business.
The quality of your network is paramount to the success of a carrier or operator. There is a direct link to attracting prospective customers and customer retention based on a carrier’s network quality. Today, customer satisfaction depends upon better service, which is the root cause of switching carriers.
Billing accuracy has also been an issue in the Telecom industry. When inaccuracies happen, trust can be compromised. There are thoughts of conspiracy and price gouging which ultimately erodes customer confidence.
There also can be another breach of trust, where personal information gets accidentally released. There have been many cited incidents where major carriers have released millions of customers private information due to bugs and misconfigurations.
The solution for many of these problems is better software testing at the network level. Network testing can catch software bugs that can weaken network signal strength or even take down a network node or switch. Revenue assurance can keep billing node integrity. Cyber and penetration testing can mitigate specific security risks and highlight where changes are needed.
Types of Telecom Testing
Interconnection testing - testing the connection of two separate networks or their elements. This testing checks if the connected elements communicate seamlessly and have no technical fault or misconfiguration.
Conformance testing - is a formal way of testing standards. Telecom testing is spread across various network elements, protocols, and devices developed by different organisations. These elements often refer to and communicate with each other, and it is essential to maintain relevant data standards between two network systems.
IVR testing - an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system consists of different menus, and each menu has different choices. This type of testing is usually carried out over the phone. The user dials a specific number, and the call will get transferred to an agent based on the choice selected by the user. This type of system requires comprehensive testing to ensure users are not confused about the options in the system, and they can complete their transactions correctly.
Performance testing - is a software testing process used for testing speed, response time, stability, reliability, scalability, and resource usage of a software application under particular workloads. The primary purpose of performance testing is to identify and eliminate the performance bottlenecks in the software application.
Security testing - during the Security testing process vectors penetrate the application through the network using different tools and technologies to ensure the system is free from vulnerabilities. Security testing aims to uncover any security breaches in the product and to mitigate any losses for the organisation.
Interoperability testing - In Interoperability Testing, devices developed by multiple manufacturers are tested to validate if these devices are interacting and communicating with other software and equipment properly.
Protocol testing - In telecom, protocol means a set of rules which need to be followed when two connections communicate with each other, and these protocols exist at different levels.
Protocols are classified into two categories:
- Routed Protocols - the user sends data from one network to another, containing artefacts like files and e-mails. Using routed protocols, the user can transmit such data to a different network at a different location.
- Routing Protocols - different types of data can be transferred using Routers. Routing protocols are used to decide the route of the routers and are used between the routers only.
Test Automation Orchestration for Telecom
Test automation and orchestration have become integral components of a software development life cycle (SDLC) for all businesses, including Telecom. All Telecom testing types described above invite the need for automation. The complex environments, network topologies, test scenarios, and data used to validate Telecom functionalities require Test Automation Orchestration.