Alcatel-Lucent is a leading global provider of telecoms solutions with products covering areas from IP and cloud networking to ultra-broadband fixed and wireless access. With over 70,000 employees, Alcatel-Lucent provides technology to virtually all major service providers worldwide.
A key division of the company is the Small Cells Business Unit, which develops ultra-small base station products supporting both 3G and 4G mobile networks. These devices allow users to obtain a better signal in areas where network coverage or capacity has historically been poor, such as inside large buildings, in remote homes, or within crowded stadiums.
Due to their role in the network, Alcatel-Lucent products have to have the highest levels of reliability so that customers are never without service. Ian Jordan, Senior Technical Manager at Alcatel Lucent comments, “Our products simply have to have the reliability that service providers need to deliver excellent service to customers. When a telecoms service is offline for an extended period of time it can make national news. More importantly, things like emergency calls might not be possible. As a result high availability has to be a top priority for all our products.”
The need for high reliability and availability means that Alcatel-Lucent has to rigorously test all products at every stage of their development. This is an expensive process to complete within the short release cycles required by the rapidly expanding Small Cell market. Software code is no exception to this process and with millions of lines of code involved, it must be checked comprehensively to ensure that there is a minimum number of defects. With set deadlines in place for the delivery of products, being able to accurately predict the quality of the code within a product is key to the development process.
Due to the nature of this, any tool that can speed up the testing process, reduce the costs involved and improve code quality is invaluable to the delivery of high availability products. Predictability is another key area, as other parts of the wider business are dependent upon the Small Cells unit hitting its deadlines in order to meet customer commitments. Given this range of complex pressures and demands, Alcatel-Lucent selected Coverity Quality Advisor (QA) to support the production of its small cell products.