O-RAN plugfests show 4G and 5G field tests

O-RAN plugfests show 4G and 5G field tests

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

The plugfests were organised by leading communications service providers (CSPs) and the O-RAN Alliance with a series of on-site demonstrations in multiple countries.

In a multi-vendor based O-RAN environment, ensuring interoperability will become the network operator’s principal concern. Test equipment provider Viavi was involved in the plugfests with its Test Suite for O-RAN Specifications to validate that all interfaces are working correctly, including the RF, signaling and interoperability, timing and synchronisation.

The plugfest in Berlin, Germany, was hosted by Deutsche Telekom, with demonstrations of radio access equipment from Baicells, Benetel, Foxconn, QCT, Wind River, Wiwynn and other vendors. Viavi  provided its TM500 including UE emulation for performance testing and O-DU emulation for O-RU subsystem testing; TeraVM for core emulation and traffic generation; MTS-5800 for transport and synchronization test; and CellAdvisor 5G for RF signal analysis.

In a plugfest in Torino, Italy, hosted by TIM, VIAVI provided the MTS-5800 for timing and synchronization in demonstrations of radio access equipment from Commscope, WNC, Wiwynn and other vendors.

In Madrid, Spain, O-RAN x-haul (fronthaul and midhaul) transport with equipment from multiple vendors used the MTS-5800 for timing and synchronization, and ONT-800 for multi-port transport test.

Airtel’s plugfest in Bengaluru, India, used radio access software and equipment from Altiostar, NEC, VVDN and Xilinx with the TM500-C-5G 5G NR UE emulator and TM500 O-RU emulator for detailed verification of the O-DU’s compliance to the WG4 open fronthaul (C/U/S planes) specification.

In total 34 companies took part at the European branch of the plugfest. With EANTC as the system integrator, supported by engineers from highstreet technologies and the hosting operators, there were: Altran, Astri, Baicells, Benetel, Calnex, Ciena, Cisco, CommScope, Delta, EXFO, Foxconn, Fujitsu, JMA Wireless, Juniper Networks, Keysight Technologies, Mavenir, MTI mobile, ng4T, QCT, Radisys, Rohde&Schwarz, VIAVI Solutions, Wind River, Wiwynn, WNC and Xilinx.

“The joint O-RAN and TIP Plugfest demonstrates the power of community to accelerate the readiness of multi-vendor O-RAN compliant network infrastructure. It was the first time that operators across Europe joined forces to welcome ecosystem partners and facilitate the verification, integration and testing of their disaggregated RAN components,” said Alex Choi, COO of the O-RAN ALLIANCE and SVP Technology Strategy & Technology Innovation, Deutsche Telekom. “This coordinated European community effort represents another step towards the realization of a robust ecosystem of multi-vendor O-RAN compliant products.”

“As a champion of interoperability test methodologies, and the first company to introduce a comprehensive test suite for O-RAN specifications, VIAVI has worked closely with ecosystem partners and operators worldwide to help identify, isolate and resolve performance issues with disaggregated networks,” said Sameh Yamany, Chief Technology Officer at Viavi. “The successful results of the global O-RAN ALLIANCE plugfest represent a significant step forward in the advancement of multi-vendor O-RAN environments, which are essential to scaling and sustaining 5G networks.”

In the lab, the TM500 and TeraVM families provide UE, O-RAN subsystem and core network simulation to enable conformance, interoperability and performance testing of both complete base station and core network testing as well as wraparound testing of individual O-RAN subsystems and core network elements. In both the lab and the field, T-BERD/MTS-5800 validates critical synchronization parameters with necessary precision using its Timing Extension Module (TEM), delivering a highly stable reference signal for synchronizing test equipment and O-RAN components. CellAdvisor 5G characterizes and analyzes 4G and 5G RF signals. ONT-800 tests transport network performance up to 800G.

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