02 April 2014

Mobile Performance Testing - Including Network and Client Emulation

Load Impact

Mobile Feature

Today, we introduced the first true cloud-based load testing Software as a Service for mobile apps, APIs and websites that can simulate traffic generated from a variety of mobile operating systems, popular browsers, and mobile networks – including 3G, GSM and LTE.

Current, only about half of companies with mobile sites or apps today test their mobile code, and a recent industry study reported that when a mobile app fails, 48 percent of users are less likely to use the app again, 34 percent will switch to a competitor, and 31 percent will tell others about their poor experience. [1]

Our new testing service for mobile apps, APIs and websites allows developers to emulate client behavior when downloading content to a phone, specify the number of concurrent downloads in total and per host, as well as the mix of different client applications or browsers, including Safari, Chrome, Firefox and Opera.

Developers can also use our new features to emulate mobile network characteristics including available bandwidth, network delay, packet loss, jitter and packet reordering.

So what's REALLY changed?

What's really new is that when we simulate a mobile client - whether it is a mobile user running a mobile web browser and accessing a standard web site, or it is a mobile user playing the Candy Crush app - we can generate the same kind of traffic for the servers to handle that real users would.

If the average mobile user has a network connection speed of, say, 384 kbit/s (old generation 3G) we will not let our simulated client load data faster than that from the servers.

test config network emulation

In previous versions of Load Impact, and in most other load testing tools, every simulated client/user in a load test will load things at maximum possible speed, at all times. This will of course result in a very skewed test result, that might tell you your site/app can handle max 1,000 concurrent users while in reality you could handle a lot more (or less).

Apart from simulating network connection speed, we also simulate network latency, which is equally important for performance as connection speed is - just like connection speed, latency also affects how "heavy" a client is for the servers to handle.

Mobile testing infographic

Our network/client emulation feature is currently available at the test level only, but you will soon be able to simulate mobile traffic at the user scenario level too. We'll be sure to let you know when the update arrives.

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