Spirent Communications has announced that the Spirent OCTOBOX is ready for testing the demanding requirements of Wi-Fi 7 (IEEE 802.11be). Spirent’s automated modular test platform for Wi-Fi devices now boasts the capabilities to emulate the unique demands of Wi-Fi’s latest generation, promising faster speeds, greater traffic capacity, and lower latency.

Wi-Fi has become mission-critical for productivity, information, and entertainment with vastly increased applications in the home and industry. To support its ever-broadening use, 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.

Commenting on the announcement, James Kimery, vice president, product management, Lifecycle Service Assurance,  Spirent, said, “Wi-Fi 7 is a very challenging technology to test due to the many complex nascent technologies it incorporates. 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.”

As a significant evolution, Wi-Fi 7 requires new testing approaches for communication service providers, network equipment manufacturers, internet service providers, and enterprises alike, to ensure their customers can take advantage of Wi-Fi 7 performance improvements. Dramatically increased traffic capacity, significantly lower latency, less congestion, and greater reliability are ways in which Wi-Fi 7 will deliver the performance demanded by the applications of the future, such as 8K video streaming, cloud gaming, and augmented and virtual reality.

OCTOBOX is the only platform that can comprehensively test stringent Wi-Fi 7 standards by characterising the unique capabilities of Wi-Fi 7 now and in the future as the requirements and related test cases evolve. With a modular design for easy upgrades, OCTOBOX provides a controlled environment to emulate real-world conditions in a repeatable manner, combining high-performance instrumentation and analysis capabilities with the most sophisticated automation software. OCTOBOX simplifies Wi-Fi 7 test set-up, reduces testing duration, and enhances repeatability, resulting in actionable business outcomes.

Further, Kimery adds, “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. 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.”

Some of the highlights of the test platform include:

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