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The Laboratory of Wonders

Telecom Italia’s LAP puts the technologies of the future to the test

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Who takes care of testing the stability of the technologies ready to enter our lives, testing before they are available on the retail market?

The TILab in Turin hosts a group of state-of-the-art laboratories, where technicians and engineers test next generation platforms, terminals and services every day.

This LAP (Accredited Testing Laboratory) has been testing ICT services and systems since the early 1990s for Telecom Italia and via services and infrastructures for foreign organisations and companies.

The management of accredited testing to achieve efficiency and quality is at the heart of the activities of the Telecom Italia Testing Labs (also called Innovation Centres).

The work of the LAP

For each service or platform, the experts involved carry out certified tests on the various areas of evaluation: hardware and functional aspects, fixed and mobile terminals, exchanges and optical systems, cybersecurity and interoperability with the Telecom Italia network.

This can all be done while entirely simulating the functions of the tested product in the futuristic laboratories.

The tests cover the following areas:

  • Testing terminals - Testing fixed and mobile terminals for the residential and business market
  • Top consulting 
 - Specialised support for large companies in developing and integrating systems
  • Testing Park
 - Using Testing lab facilities (test plants, laboratories, tools, training on tools, configuration of equipment) to carry out checks using its own resources
  • Credibility testing
 - A subset of tests to check the main functions of network products. Human expertise is largely used to identify the macro functions that create critical issues
  • User experience Lab
 - Checking the usability of portals and systems, also via specific focus groups.
  • Calibration and Setting - Calibrating tools to check electrical and optical properties. Some setting services are carried out under accreditation for national and international certifications.

What is inside the LAP?

LAP infrastructures offer various tools and laboratories, each one designed to field test the different aspects evaluated by the laboratory.

Some of the most cutting-edge areas are:

  • The SAR Lab

SAR stands for Specific Absorption Rate and generally represents the power absorbed by a biological body exposed to electromagnetic radiation per unit mass. It is a physical quantity expressed in W/kg. In this laboratory, human exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic fields emitted from a mobile terminal is assessed: the test carried out aims to check the compliance of mobile terminals to the basic restrictions specified in international standards for SAR.

  • Electromagnetic Compatibility Lab

The laboratory carries out checks on systems and products to ensure their compatibility with the installation environment and the adequacy of the noise immunity level, as well as the generation of emissions that might interfere with radio communications. The laboratory is equipped with a shielded semi-anechoic chamber (SAC), created in a dedicated building on the company’s premises.

  • The Test Plant

The Test Plant enables all the segments of Telecom Italia’s fixed network to be emulated from the access network to the OPM (Optical Packet Metro), OPB (Optical Packet Backbone) and POP (Point of Presence): the different areas house all the technologies of the various vendors, used in the field, to allow complete and efficient tests.