Managed Services, SI

Spirent Debuts OCTOBOX Support for Wi-Fi 7 Testing

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Device and network testing provider Spirent announced its OCTOBOX solution will include support for the upcoming Wi-Fi 7 (IEEE 802.11be) protocol. The new protocol will enable advances such as 8K video streaming, cloud gaming, and augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR).

Wi-Fi 7 brings new functionality and features, such as lower latency and faster throughput, but has added new testing challenges with the addition of restricted service periods, multi-link operation, and other technology advancements.

Computerworld's Jonny Evans explains that the standard is maintained by the Wi-Fi Alliance, and the next iteration will be Wi-Fi 7 (802.11be). Wi-Fi 7 has multiple advantages to support devices, principally higher peak data rates and much-reduced latency. While Wi-Fi 6 was loosely focused on supporting lots of devices at once, Wi-Fi 7 seeks to boost speed and efficiency in the use of those devices, Evans said.

But there are challenges. Wi-Fi 7 requires new testing approaches for communication service providers, network equipment manufacturers, internet service providers, and enterprises, Spirent said in a statement.

Spirent's OCTOBOX will allow for comprehensive support of the more stringent Wi-Fi 7 standards and its modular design will allow it to evolve as technology changes, according to the statement. OCTOBOX provides a controlled environment to emulate real-world conditions in a repeatable manner, combining high-performance instrumentation and analysis capabilities with automation software. OCTOBOX simplifies Wi-Fi 7 test set-up, reduces testing duration, and enhances repeatability to help organizations meet their business goals.

Other capabilities include:

  • Isolated feature-by-feature testing
  • High modulation rates
  • Detailed, dynamic characterization of the delay performance of the device
  • Day zero continuous testing with automation test packages
  • Multi-location, multi-channel, multi-band sniffing

OCTOBOX with Wi-Fi 7 will be shown for the first time at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2023 in Colorado (October 16 – 19), booth #842.

“Wi-Fi 7 is a very challenging technology to test due to the many complex nascent technologies it incorporates,” said James Kimery, Vice President of Product Management with Spirent’s Lifecycle Service Assurance business. “To meet these challenges in the evolution of Wi-Fi, Spirent has advanced the OCTOBOX testbeds to evaluate the breadth of these new requirements and include upgrade paths for existing customers. This allows them to maintain their investments as they look to ensure the latest Wi-Fi 7 devices and products meet the exacting new standards and performance needs.”

“Spirent OCTOBOX is ready to test the rigorous requirements of Wi-Fi 7 with a robust, fully automated market-leading test platform. Our solution provides realistic deployment of varied environments, traffic, and interferer conditions to test real-world conditions in the lab, mimicking conditions found in a home, office, or stadium,” says Kimery. “As Wi-Fi 7 momentum builds, OCTOBOX is tailored to these new enhancements with detailed analysis, easy-to-understand results, and rich troubleshooting to help ensure that routers and devices are ready for deployment.”