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Software Support Tool For 3G to 4G Development

A Cambridge, UK-based independent electronics and communications design facility has announced that it has generated an internal development tool that will help software engineers analyze the contents of LTE (Long Term Evolution) and W-CDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) protocol messages. Plextek says that these messages have been incredibly difficult to read and understand traditionally, and the development of this software tool will greatly speed development time on 3G and 4G networks.

The company says that, with networks across the world starting to make the move towards LTE, developing the right software tools alongside this migration is key. As it stands today, 3GPP (the body that defines the W-CDMA and LTE standards) uses a complex notation known as ASN.1 to define protocol message types and content. This helps to avoid ambiguity in setting standards but requires careful translation into software code. In order to assist this translation process, Plextek has developed this customizable ASN.1 viewer and compiler.

"The move from 3G to 4G is now just a question of when rather than if, and a key part of its success will be in ensuring the right software is there to support it," said Plextek's David Kyle. "By making the protocol messages easier to analyze, we will aid the move to LTE and make it easier for engineers across the whole ecosystem to implement. Interestingly, the codes are actually far more straightforward in LTE, so what this tool offers is the ability to code and develop easily at both levels."

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