Case Device Farm for Mobile Testing at Brazil’s Largest Telecom

The Challenge

With the rise of smartphones, Brazil’s largest telecom company realized that mobile devices would become the main channel for customer relations and service. Consequently, “mobile first” has become a basic premise for most of the company’s technology projects. However, developing for mobile devices faces the challenge of having to ensure a good experience in a huge variety of devices.

The great diversity in mobile devices is a critical issue for Quality∙Assurance. There is a huge diversity of manufacturers, screen resolutions, operating systems, computational capabilities, in addition to user profiles. QA teams need to consider a large number of devices to ensure coverage and reliability.

At the beginning, the company provided the testators with a few devices. However, it was difficult to manage the devices placement and ensure they would be available at the right time to all teams. Test bottlenecks were common. It was evident that in order to scale the development of applications without losing quality it would be essential to find a reliable solution for the devices management and availability.

The Solution

The tests by cloud devices or emulators are useful, but not sufficient to ensure the level of quality sought by Brazil’s largest telecom. Test on real devices is fundamental to obtain reliable results and validate features that require computational capacity, cameras, GPS and Bluetooth connectivity, gyroscope, biometric readers, among other features.

Brazil’s largest telecom needed to produce changes on their testing infrastructure. Prime Control was consulted and proposed creative solutions to fully meet the company’s needs. In innovation projects, there is always a portion of unforeseen events, but thanks to the proactive and collaborative attitude from both parties, all technical challenges were overcome.

The first vitrine supported up to 40 phones of the main brands and operating systems, including iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. Subsequently, the project was expanded and currently has 3 vitrines and over 90 smartphones.

Brazil’s largest telecom now has a broad mobile testing infrastructure. The devices farms proved to be an essential resource for remote work. Developers and testators can access it from anywhere, even in home office.

The devices are now protected in locked vitrines, NFS technology and security cameras. Transporting devices is no longer necessary.

Currently, there are more than 2,000 combinations between devices, brands and operating systems, expanding the coverage of the tests.

The device farm also made possible the automation of mobile tests and today more than 3,000 automated tests are performed by regression for each app.