VIAVI has introduced a new O-RAN test suite to help vendors validate their products according to the O-RAN standards as well as Service Providers wishing to verify the interoperability of these components before launching their network. The TeraVM O-CU Simulator provides a complimentary test component to the O-DU Test tool from TM500.
The O-RAN Alliance is promoting the disaggregation of the gNB into three distinct, open and standardized elements:
- O-RU: Open Radio Unit responsible for digital front end, lower part PHY layers
- O-DU: Open Distributed Unit responsible for RLC, MA and higher part PHY layers
- O-CU: Open Central Unit responsible for RRC and PDCP layers
The TeraVM O-CU Simulator is a software-based test tool housed on x86 hardware - compliant against 3GPP F1 application protocol, supports up to 256 DUs per emulated CU and is capable of emulating up to 8 CUs per server.
The TeraVM O-CU Simulator can emulate 5G scenarios:
- 5G NSA Option 3a, option 3x 5G SA
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- First to market O-DU full wraparound test compliant with latest 3GPP, O-RAN standards
- Runs in lightweight VM on standard x86 hardware
- CI/CD Automation Integration
- Functional Testing
- Performance, Capacity Testing
- Supports Open source automation tools such as Jenkins
Preparing for the Challenges of O-RAN Fronthaul Testing
The cellular industry is adopting cloud and virtual network technologies to simplify deployment, maintenance and optimize capital expenditure. To support this, one of the key objectives of the O-RAN Alliance is to bring uniformity in connectivity and test interfaces, and foster the use of off-the-shelf hardware as a means of reducing costs. Achieving these objectives opens new challenges for Network Equipment Manufacturers and Operators in particular. Some of the challenges include:
- Challenge of guaranteeing performance with scale and capacity E.g. ensuring that the O-DU can cope with high data volume and multiple RUs.
- Ensuring inter-operability with legacy Radio Access Technologies (RAT) such as 4/4.5G. This is an important short/long term challenge for overall network performance management as 5G and O-RAN are expected to work with legacy. Operators and NEMs cannot ignore this as it can have a major impact on the Quality of Service (QoS) for 4G users in scenarios such as mobility and handover.
- Operators may have to do their own tests due to different vendor specific O-RAN requirements e.g. the O-RU, O-DU and O-CU can be from different vendors. They can also be standalone products or combined as a pair. Operators will need to decide whether to do the tests themselves or outsource testing to a lead vendor that can take responsibility for end to end system performance testing.
- Limited UE test capability and vendor experience If in-house solutions or a UE vendor with limited experience are used for testing, the breadth of 5G features and capabilities may be limited and may not have the sufficient coverage for a comprehensive test. This can put limitations on what can be tested or supported.
- Coping with different O-RAN customer requirements from an integration point of view can be problematic. Although O-RAN standards are meant to be universal, there is room for vendor specific requirements. For example the O-RAN M-plane management which is defined by radio parameters, transport settings, RU management and state changes.
Repair and Calibration
Our products live in rugged environments for over 10 years with 1000s of test connect/disconnect cycles. We will be there to support you to ensure components that require maintenance like connectors, batteries, and software updates to ensure you are ready to test accurately for years to come. We apply factory procedures that use fast, automated calibration and functional verification, maintenance using OEM parts and the application of all engineering change orders and software updates. Services are available through contract Care plans, FleetCare or per incident as requests.
Top 4 Reasons to Choose VIAVI for Your Repair and Calibration Needs:
- Minimize business disruption
- Measurement Accuracy and Product Reliability
- Measurement Compliance, TL9000 certification and OEM Standards