VIAVI Global O-RAN Plugfest Participation

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VIAVI Plugfest Participation 2022

The 2022 Plugfest has shown Open Radio Units (O-RUs) are completing fronthaul conformance certification, and moving beyond certification into performance testing. Interoperability in multi-vendor environments beyond the O-RU was also more in focus, with key combinations including O-RU and Open Distributed Unit (O-DU), O-DU and Open Central Unit (O-CU), and complete end-to-end networks being demonstrated. 

Vendors showcased the RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) and its potential to bring AI/ML techniques to network optimization and service management. And with security of open networks growing in importance, this PlugFest session also included running O-RAN and 3GPP security test cases.

VIAVI was relied upon to provide benchmarking and validation for PlugFest tests and demonstrations hosted by:

  • AT&T and Dish Wireless at the following locations:COSMOS Lab, Rutgers University in New Brunswick, USA
    • COSMOS Lab, Rutgers University in New Brunswick, USA
    • Meta TIP Community Lab in Menlo Park, USA
    • University of New Hampshire Interoperability Laboratory in Durham, USA 
  • Telefónica in Madrid, Spain; and
  • Auray OTIC and Security Lab in Taiwan.
“The increasing maturity of the O-RAN ecosystem was evident across the entire PlugFest”

Dr. Ian Wong, CTO Office, VIAVI and Co-Chair, Testing and Integration Focus Group, O-RAN ALLIANCE

 

The VIAVI Test Suite for O-RAN Specifications supported conformance, performance, interoperability and end-to-end testing:

O-RAN Radio Unit

VIAVI and Rohde & Schwarz partnered on O-RAN Fronthaul (OFH) conformance and 3GPP pre-conformance testing of O-RUs from Foxconn and other vendors. The two companies also jointly validated an O-RU reference design with components from Analog Devices and Intel. The combined testbed includes the VIAVI TM500 O-RU Tester and the Rohde & Schwarz SMW200A Vector Signal Generator (VSG), FSW Signal and Spectrum Analyzer and Vector Signal Explorer (VSE) software, with the O-RU Test Manager providing a seamless user experience. Separately, VIAVI supported conformance and performance testing of a C-Band 64TRX Massive MIMO Fujitsu O-RU, providing the TM500 O-RU Tester, TM500 UE Emulator and T-BERD/MTS 5800 PTP/SyncE grandmaster.

Transport

VIAVI also provided the T-BERD/MTS-5800 for Xhaul Transport and Synchronization testing on ADVA’s FSP 150-XG418 as a Cell Site Gateway (CSG) and Ensemble Activator network operating system (NOS) on Edgecore AS7316-26XB as a Hub Site Router (HSR), and validating the compatibility of third-party optics plugs from Precision Optical Transceivers.

End-to-End Interoperability and Security Testing

The VIAVI TM500 UE Emulator and TeraVM Core Emulator were used for E2E and security testing of multiple vendor combinations, including the Foxconn O-RU and another vendor’s core, and of the Pegatron O-RU, O-CU and O-DU.

RIC

VIAVI demonstrated near real-time RIC platform performance benchmarking by integrating another vendor’s xApp with the VIAVI TeraVM RIC Test. The two companies also partnered to demonstrate traffic steering in near real-time RIC by integrating anomaly detection, quality prediction and traffic steering xApps with the TeraVM RIC Test, in a fully automated, closed-loop fashion, and in a multi-vendor, multi-technology environment.

“Beyond the number of participants, complexity is introduced in terms of end-to-end interoperability, AI- and ML-driven automation in assurance and optimization, and security. VIAVI enabled our partners to surmount this complexity by delivering comprehensive and relevant test cases on proven platforms, known for simplicity of use and expedited results.”

Stephen Hire, VP Wireless Marketing, VIAVI Solutions

 

 

VIAVI Plugfest Participation 2021

The third O-RAN Alliance plugfest involved a series of on-site demonstrations across multiple countries, conducted in October and November 2021.

Plugfest Tests and Demos 2021

VIAVI provided benchmarking and validation for plugfest tests and demonstrations at locations including:

  • New Brunswick, USA, hosted by AT&T and Verizon with Rutgers University
  • Menlo Park, USA, hosted by AT&T and Verizon at the TIP Community Lab with Meta
  • Berlin, Germany, hosted by Deutsche Telekom
  • Madrid, Spain, hosted by Telefónica
  • Gurgaon, India, hosted by Airtel
  • Tokyo, Japan hosted by Yokosuka Research Park with participation from major service providers including Rakuten Mobile
  • Taiwan hosted by Auray OTIC and Security Lab and Chunghwa Telecom.
O-RAN Plugfest
“With each O-RAN plugfest, we have seen commitment from more service providers, a proliferation of vendors, and clearer signs that the technology is progressing toward maturity”

Sameh Yamany, Chief Technology Officer, VIAVI

 

The plugfest demonstrated the rapid evolution of the O-RAN ecosystem with increasing focus on the RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC), which changes the way network resources are managed, bringing artificial intelligence and big data into day-to-day operations. To mitigate the risk involved in introducing this new technology, operators depended upon tools from VIAVI including the TeraVM RIC Test to test the performance of the RIC when presented with a wide range of RAN scenarios, to test the functionality of rApps and xApps, as well as provide the means to generate the data needed to train AI models.

The VIAVI Test Suite for O-RAN Specifications also supported conformance, performance, interoperability and end-to-end testing:

Open Radio Unit (O-RU) and Open Distributed Unit (O-DU)

Casa Systems Apex 5G Evo Radio was validated using the VIAVI TM500 O-RU Tester in conjunction with the Rohde & Schwarz SMW200A Vector Signal Generator (VSG), FSW Signal and Spectrum Analyzer and Vector Signal Explorer (VSE) software. Performance testing of the Sercomm Small Cell O-RU/O-DU was conducted using the VIAVI TeraVM O-CU Simulator and TeraVM Core Emulator. The Foxconn/WNC/Alpha/ITRI O-RU was tested using the VIAVI TM500 O-RU Tester.

Open Central Unit (O-CU)

Performance (load/scale) testing of the Accelleran O-CU installed on a cloud native router was conducted using the VIAVI TeraVM O-CU Tester.

Open Fronthaul (OFH)

OFH interoperability between Intel’s FlexRAN™ reference software and Capgemini Engineering O-CU, O-DU and Core, with IP Infusion fronthaul switch as grandmaster clock, was validated using the VIAVI TM500 O-DU Tester and E500 UE Emulator. VIAVI also provided the T-BERD/MTS-5800 for Xhaul Transport and Synchronization testing on the Ciena 5164 and 5168 with grandmaster, and on the Cisco NCS540.

End-to-end interoperability testing

Testing of the Foxconn O-RU with another vendor’s O-DU and O-CU was conducted with the VIAVI E500 UE Emulator and TeraVM Core Emulator. OFH and end-to-end interoperability was demonstrated between the TeraVM Core Emulator, Foxconn O-RU, Capgemini O-DU/O-CU and commercial device.

RAN Intelligent Controller

The TeraVM RIC Test was used to validate the Accelleran dRAX™ RIC and xApps, and the TCS RIC and traffic steering xApp. TeraVM RIC Test also supported a demonstration of the Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP) enabling RAN self-healing and optimization, including rApp impact compensation with RAN optimization xApps working on latest O-RAN SC RIC stack.

VIAVI offers the most comprehensive test platform on the market for lab validation, field deployment and service assurance of O-RAN networks, deployable on premise, in public or private clouds, and as Test as a Service (TaaS). With over 85% of NEMs using the VIAVI RANtoCore platform for gNB development, the company uniquely offers market-leading 5G and Open RAN test solutions for conformance, performance and interoperability of O-RU, O-CU, O-DU, RIC and Core elements.

O-RAN Test Emulators


 

VIAVI O-RAN Solution Demonstrations

VIAVI has embraced the end-to-end (E2E) challenges of MV-IOT by supporting and collaborating with our partners on the development of O-RAN test tools extending from the lab to the field. This includes component level wrap around testing, vendor pairing evaluations to validate the function, performance, robustness and resilience of specific combinations, and protocol compliance testing for open interfaces. Holistic evaluation of multiple combinations and system level testing are integral to success and conformance to O-RAN specifications. View the VIAVI O-RAN Solution Demonstrations below:

 


VIAVI offers the most comprehensive test platform on the market for lab validation, field deployment and service assurance of O-RAN networks, deployable on premise, in public or private clouds, and as Test as a Service (TaaS). With over 85% of NEMs using the VIAVI RANtoCore platform for gNB development, the company uniquely offers market-leading 5G and Open RAN test solutions for conformance, performance and interoperability of O-RU, O-CU, O-DU, RIC and Core elements.

Learn More

 


Rakuten and VIAVI Solutions combine their 5G network expertise to share practical lessons on how operators and their customers can benefit from the scale of cloud-native deployments.

Over 85% of NEMs are using VIAVI RANtoCore Solutions for gNB development.