Integrated tool suite for end-to-end O-RAN test and validation

Integrated tool suite for end-to-end O-RAN test and validation

New Products |
By Nick Flaherty

Spirent Communications has launched the final elements of an end-to-end suite of tools for test and validation of open RAN wireless networks.

The tools now cover O-DU, and RIC testing, completing its O-RAN test solution portfolio. These have been added to the previously available O-CU and O-RU test systems to help accelerate widespread O-RAN adoption through interoperability and system testing.

“O-RAN has great potential to introduce new use cases and innovation while lowering costs, but only if its performance and business model deliver as promised,” says James Kimery, VP of product management for Spirent’s Lifecycle Service Assurance business.

“With all the opportunity O-RAN has unlocked, it’s made testing more complex than traditional RAN approaches and placed a greater testing burden downstream to carriers and network operators who must integrate various vendor systems,” he said.

“That’s why we’ve focused on offering a simplified and automated approach with fully integrated solutions, pre-built test cases, and centralized control via one user interface, regardless of the type of test performed,” he added.

“Additionally, our O-RAN solutions cover today’s established industry standard testing and push beyond to ensure the requirements for superior carrier-grade, production-ready criteria are met to ensure deployment success.”

The O-RAN tools provide pre-built test libraries across performance, resiliency, security, compliance, and more with a fully integrated system with open APIs. They are designed to plug-and-play seamlessly into any automation pipeline.

O-RAN testing requires a variety of testing and emulation approaches, which Spirent has integrated into the system managed through a single user experience regardless of the testing type being executed.

“The complexity of Open RAN and 5G require new automated testing methodologies that validate real-world performance and robustness,” said Caroline Gabriel, research director at Analysys Mason. “Spirent’s O-RAN portfolio provides comprehensive, integrated solutions that are specifically designed and tailored for functional and performance testing of the multi-vendor RAN.”

“Spirent is a key contributor to Mavenir’s success in validating our Open RAN components are market-ready,” said John Baker, SVP of business development at Mavenir, an early purchaser of Spirent’s O-RAN tools. “Spirent provides the real-time and real-world emulation capabilities we require to feel confident pre-deployment and we look forward to continued collaboration for successful future rollouts.”

“Emulation comes to the forefront as a critical technology of any O-RAN testbed. Spirent is the market leader in real-time emulation, from the 5G Core, to individual O-RAN components, to the RF environment. Functional and performance tests of any of these components must have real emulation in real-time, at performance and at scale. Combined with industry-leading automation through a simplified user interface, this comprehensive O-RAN portfolio reduces test time while increasing test coverage and enabling CI/CD processes,” said Kimery.

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