• What is an APA?
    Air Protocol Analyzer (APA) is leading-edge test equipment specially designed to monitor and decode the air interface in UMTS networks. It provides detailed information of the Uu interface defined by the 3GPP.
  • What kinds of mobile networks does an APA support?
    The APA currently supports the following access technologies in UMTS:
    • WCDMA
    • HSDPA
    • HSUPA
    • HSPA+

It also supports combined networks GSM/WCDMA with the ability to analyze InterRAT handovers.

  • Does the APA work with CDMA2000?
    CDMA2000 standards 1x, 1xEV-DO, and 1xEV-DV are the evolution of IS-95 and are not currently supported by the APA family.
  • Is an APA a portable device?
    The APA family has been conceived to be used in the lab environment. Although, because of its compact and rugged design, they can be used mounted in a vehicle. In that case, power has to be supplied via a DC/AC converter.
  • Can I use an APA for drive testing?
    The APA can be used to analyze the behavior of a specific UE in the field and its interaction with the network at the protocol level. It also provides information on the power control mechanism. However, it is not intended for characterization of the network’s RF performance.
  • Is an APA easy to setup?
    The APA does not require any connection with the UE to be traced or any other element of the network. The setup only requires the connection of the antennas and the console PC to operate the main unit.

    The APA has two modes of operation: Auto and Manual

    In the Auto mode, the only information required is the operating frequency of the network. The APA then detects the present BTSs and the acquisition of information can begin. This provides a fast way to start the operation and also does not required a highly qualified engineer to operate the APA.

    In Manual mode, the APA provides the chance to modify many parameters both in the uplink and in the downlink for each channel, so that the R&D engineer can analyze in depth a diverse number of scenarios.
  • I have an Anritsu MD8480, can I use the data from an APA with it?
    There is an optional package that converts the APA’s log file into LSC format. This provides an easy and fast way to create scenarios for the Anritsu MD8480 form a real take captured with the APA on the field or at the lab.
  • Which revision of 3GPP does APA currently support?
    The AP-6000 supports 3GPP releases ’99, 5, 6, 7. Its software is constantly being updated as new features are implemented.
  • Is the AP-6000 a W-CDMA / UMTS over-the-air network analyzer?
    A network analyzer, also known as packet analyzer or in this case a UMTS wireless sniffer, intercepts and log the traffic passing over the UMTS network. In the case of the AP-6000, it traces over-the-air a specific call between a UE and the UMTS network capturing both the uplink and downlink.
  • Can the APA reproduce the audio of a call?
    The AP-6000 is not designed to listening to a call and to reproduce the audio; even though all the control information and user data such as TCP/IP packets and vocoder data are stored on its database during a call as part of the protocol analysis process.
  • How does the APA manages ciphering?

There are several alternatives the APA manages to obtain or generate the appropriate ciphering keys established between the UE and the network during the acknowledgement and key agreement procedure. These depend on the environment the APA is used (lab or commercial network) and the user’s access to ciphering information.


For more information please contact support@prmti.com


Third-generation mobile telephone technology
3rd Generation Partnership Project
3GPP is a co-operation between ETSI ( Europe), ARIB/TTC ( Japan), CCSA ( China), ATIS ( North America) and TTA ( South Korea). The scope of 3GPP was to make a globally applicable third generation (3G) mobile phone system specification within the scope of the ITU's IMT-2000 project.
Air Protocol Analyzer
A family of third-generation (3G) mobile telecommunications standards. CDMA2000 is the evolution of IS-95 and it is not compatible with the other major 3G standard WCDMA (UMTS) which is the evolution of GSM
Global System for Mobile Communications
GSM is an open TDMA standard for mobile phones which is currently developed by the 3GPP
High Speed Downlink Packet Access
Is a packet-based data service with data transmission up to 14.4 Mbit/s in WCDMA downlink (BTS->UE)
High Speed Uplink Packet Access
Is a packet-based data service with data transmission up to 5.8 Mbit/s in WCDMA uplink (UE->BTS)
Log Scenario Converter
User Equipment
It is the name given in UMTS systems to the handheld phone or another device such as a card in a laptop computer.
Universal Mobile Telecommunications System
UMTS is the third-generation (3G) mobile phone technologies standardized by the 3GPP. It uses WCDMA as the air access standard.
User Equipment - UMTS The radio interface between the UE and the Node-B (3G Base Transceiver Station) is called Uu
Wideband Code Division Multiple Access
WCDMA is the air access technology behind the 3G UMTS standard

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