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Cable Technology Feature Article

October 21, 2008

Spirent Tech-X Flex Offers RF Video Test Module

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Spirent Communications (News - Alert), a global provider of performance analysis and service assurance solutions, has announced the addition of an RF video test module for its Spirent Tech-X Flex field test solution.

This handheld device is used to identify and troubleshoot the deployment issues related to video services within a consumer’s home. The device is considered invaluable in the industry, as it allows for faster problem identification and resolution, improving the overall customer experience.

The Spirent Tech-X Flex is positioned as the industry’s first and only device to support both the testing of IP video service quality of Multimedia over Coax (MoCA) networks in addition to analog and digital RF-based video signals.
When using the handheld device, telcos and cable operators with hybrid video networks will no longer have to supply their field technicians with multiple devices to test RF video and MoCA. These technicians can now identify and troubleshoot both network- and service-related issues inside the customer’s residence with just one piece of equipment.

Spirent Tech-X Flex also supports other in-home networking technologies including Ethernet and 802.11 Wireless Local Area Networks (WLAN). With the rise in home-based networks, the demand for such a solution is growing, helping to create significant opportunity for Spirent.

"A service provider, such as Verizon who is aggressively rolling out its FiOS (News - Alert) TV service, or a cable operator trying to deliver the complete triple-play experience, will clearly welcome the utility and functionality of a handheld testing device which allows field technicians to easily yet comprehensively install and maintain residential video offerings," said Olga Yashkova, Test and Measurement Industry Analyst, Frost & Sullivan (News - Alert), in a Tuesday statement.

"The ability to accomplish all in-home testing needs with a single, compact device furnishes telcos and cable companies with an efficient tool that allows for the faster introduction of services as well as happier customers."

Service providers and cable operators can rely on the Spirent Tech-X Flex to ensure that they are delivering the highest subscriber Quality of Experience (QoE) while quickly and cost-effectively introducing video services as field technicians can now easily address the complexities associated with in-home networks.

"Spirent's combination of RF testing with triple-play testing options including video, data, MoCA, Ethernet, and WiFi (News - Alert) is unmatched," said Sean Yarborough, director of marketing - strategy, partnership and field test solutions at Spirent Communications, in the statement.

"Traditionally, field technicians must use different testing products for coaxial-delivered cable TV and IP video- delivered cable TV. Our solution combines these capabilities into a single unit enabling a best-in-class handheld tester for in-home voice, video, and data networks including those using proprietary IP video middleware."

The Spirent Tech-X Flex delivers automated expert diagnostics which accelerate the field troubleshooting process by analyzing and correlating various test results in an effort to identify faults and prioritize those with the greatest impact on service. Service providers can realize reduced repeat rates for network installation and repair as well as shorter job completion times.

Service providers and cable operators are under increasing pressure to deliver the best possible experience for the customer as competition continues to intensify in the industry. This latest device from Spirent will better equip technicians in the field to troubleshoot and resolve issues for the customer to reduce downtime and improve overall performance.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by
Eve Sullivan