Testing the network and equipment around a cell tower is a dangerous job that must be done quickly, accurately and with the minimum amount of gear, if possible, according to Tomas Yanez, Solutions Marketing at VIAVI Solutions.
To meet these needs, VIAVI Solutions Inc. launched the OneAdvisor 800 for large workforces of technicians or contractors installing and activating cell sites. The OneAdvisor 800 solution, which was introduced in 2020, provides a combination of technology coverage, test features, and built-in user help to facilitate aggressive 5G network deployment.
The VIAVI OneAdvisor 800 allows cell site technicians to test fiber, coax, RF, and CPRI/Ethernet from a single instrument, replacing multiple independent tools (OTDR, CAA, Fiber Scope), and significantly reducing the total cost of ownership for service providers and contractors plus making a tower climber’s job easier, according to Yanez.
“With the OneAdvisor 800, there’s just less gear to keep track of, to carry, to charge, or to update to the latest software release,” Yanez said. “With OneAdvisor 800, the technician has fewer interfaces to learn compared with having multiple test sets from different vendors, which also makes reporting easier.”
In March 2022, VIAVI Solutions introduced a 400G module for the OneAdvisor 800, providing advanced 400G transport test and maintenance functionality for business service and network core technicians working in the field.
“Most 400G circuits have been deployed in service providers’ core networks,” Yanez said. “But now the 400G is starting to migrate to the field as all technologies do. Having a 400G test device that’s built for the field, e.g. small, runs cool and with great battery life, now becomes very important.”
When combining OneAdvisor 800 capabilities, technicians in the field can test transport (400G, ZR/ZR+/coherent) and fiber (OTDR, optical spectrum analysis, bi-directional fiber certification) environments. In addition, OneAdvisor 800 allows wireless work groups to seamlessly add wireless test capabilities (LTE, 5G, C-RAN, O-RAN) as their needs evolve in the future.
“OneAdvisor 800 is a modular platform, so its capabilities expand as customer requirements and the market needs change. It began with wireless capabilities and expanded into fiber testing through these modules. It’s kind of a natural progression,” Yanez said. “5G, of course, is wireless, but it’s dependent upon fiber. When you have two things as intertwined as wireless and fiber, to have a device that can test both of them at the same time, or sequentially, is really convenient.”
The workflow user interface in the instrument guides technicians, internal or external, through a pre-configured common test process, making sure that everyone completes the job in the same way and to the same specifications. The OneAdvisor 800 is supported by reporting and workflow software to automate job certification reports so contractors and technicians can rapidly close out jobs and move on to the next one.
“The built-in guidance gives a technician the confidence to work through their checklist faster,” Yanez said. “And, they are far less likely to make an error, or forget to complete a test. So they get faster, and their testing is more accurate.”
An additional benefit of the OneAdvisor 800’s workflow user interface is that it’s easier for a new person to learn how to use the device. “Because of the volume of work that is thrust upon them, tower services companies are constantly having to ramp up their teams, but also to deal with turnover as well. So training is very important and bringing new people up to speed quickly is critical,” Yanez said.
To learn more about VIAVI OneAdvisor 800, visit: https://www.viavisolutions.com/en-us/products/oneadvisor-800. Or visit https://www.viavisolutions.com/en-us/support/quick-references/how-videos/how-videos-oneadvisor-800 for a video of the OneAdvisor800 platform overview and how-to test tips videos.
By J. Sharpe Smith, Inside Towers Technology Editor