Viavi, R&S support latest global O-RAN plugfest

Viavi, R&S support latest global O-RAN plugfest

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Viavi Solutions have provided benchmarking and validation for tests and demonstrations in the latest PlugFest organized by the O-RAN Alliance.  

The PlugFest involved a series of on-site demonstrations across multiple countries, conducted in May and June 2022.

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.

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Demonstrations included AT&T and Dish Wireless at Telefónica in Madrid, Spain as wellas the COSMOS Lab, Rutgers University in New Brunswick, USA as well as the Meta TIP Community Lab in Menlo Park, US and the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory in Durham, NC. . There were also demonstrations at the Auray OTIC and Security Lab in Taiwan.

“The increasing maturity of the O-RAN ecosystem was evident across the entire PlugFest,” said Dr Ian Wong, CTO Office at Viavi and Co-Chair of the Testing and Integration Focus Group at the O-RAN Alliance. “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.”

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.

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.

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.

Viavi also 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.

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“Interest in cross-industry collaboration on O-RAN has grown so substantially that we have moved to multiple PlugFest sessions during the year,” said Stephen Hire, Vice President of Wireless Marketing, VIAVI. “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.”

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