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O-RAN technology demos at Mobile World Congress

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

The O-RAN Alliance is highlighting 22 demonstrations of the latest open radio access network (O-RAN) technology at the Mobile World Congress this week in Barcelona, Spain, with a further 24 available online in a virtual exhibition.

ARM and partners are demonstrating a low-footprint 5G Network-in-a-box O-RAN solution based on ARM Neoverse N1 CPU, suitable for distributed small cells and private networks deployments. The E2E solution comprises O-CU, O-DU, Core and Edge platforms all running on one Gigabyte server using Capgemini and Phluido software and an open O-RU radio unit from Benetel in Ireland.

UK IP supplier AccelerComm is demonstrating a fully compliant O-RAN Acceleration Abstraction Layer (AAL) Forward Error Correction (FEC) product for the Xilinx (now AMD) FPGA accelerator cards. This enables AccelerComm’s high performance 5G NR LDPC encoding and decoding IP solutions to be rapidly and efficiently used as hardware accelerators in industry standard servers across a PCIe bus using the O-RAN AAL interface.

Qualcomm Technologies is showing an O-RAN Alliance framework with disaggregated network components and RAN Intelligent Controller for Industrial 5G IoT networks.

Analog Devices, Intel, Viavi Solutions and Rohde & Schwarz are jointly demonstrating O-RAN open fronthaul conformance, with the ADI/Intel’s 4T4R O-RU Reference Design validated by Viavi’s automated TM500 O-RU tester with R&S SMW200A vector signal generator, R&S FSVA3000 spectrum analyzer and the R&S VSE signal analysis software.

ADI is also showing its O-RU Reference design fronthaul conformance testing with Keysight technology. The O-RU integrates ADI’s turnkey 7.2x split low PHY IP with ADI’s latest 8T8R RadioVerse SoC with integrated DFE, connected to Keysight’s Open RAN Studio O-DU emulator and PathWave Test Automation framework for fronthaul conformance testing.

R&S and Viavi are also showing O-RAN open fronthaul conformance with Casa Systems’ Apex 5G Evo O-RU. This is validated by a setup featuring Viavi’s TM500 as the DU emulator, O-RU test manager SW interacting with R&S SMW200A vector signal generator, R&S FSW50 spectrum analyzer and R&S VSE Vector Signal Explorer software.

Mavenir is demonstrating an O-RAN based AI-powered closed-loop near real time RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) with traffic steering that substantially reduces network overhead and improves cell capacity savings. The demo uses a real-time learning framework using cloud-native network APIs.

Parallel Wireless demonstrates its Open RAN, ALL G – 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G, O-RAN based software platform showcasing an open, secure, and intelligent RAN architecture to deliver wireless connectivity, enabling people to be connected whenever, wherever, and however they choose. Visit the demo at Hall 5 Stand 5C61 (Parallel Wireless).

Fujitsu, NTT DOCOMO, Wind River and Nvidia have also built a virtual RAN (vRAN) testbed with remote access capability. This shows an Open vRAN using O-RAN open fronthaul interface between O-RU and O-DU.

Meanwhile NEC is showing its latest massive-MIMO solution including radio unit, based on O-RAN open fronthaul, led by the company’s UK-based Global Open RAN Centre of Excellence (CoE).

It has partnered with Dell, NTT DOCOMO, Red Hat and Xilinx/AMD for another vRAN testbed with remote access capability, and demonstrates NEC’s vRAN. The software is consistent with O-RAN Reference Architecture. It is implemented on the latest virtualization infrastructure, and on a commercially available server using the latest microprocessors and hardware acceleration.

An additional 24 demos will be showcased at the O-RAN Virtual Exhibition

The details of the demos are at www.o-ran.org

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