Viavi Solutions Inc. announced the company successfully participated in a global open radio access network (O-RAN) plugfest hosted by several Tier-1 communications service providers and the O-RAN ALLIANCE. The plugfest involved a series of on-site demonstrations in multiple countries, conducted in September and October 2020. VIAVI provided industry-leading 4G and 5G test and validation platforms to support the worldwide event, which demonstrated key O-RAN use cases involving a number of network equipment manufacturers and system integrators, accelerating the commercialization of O-RAN and diversification of the RAN supply chain.
In a multi-vendor based O-RAN environment, ensuring interoperability will become the network operator’s principal concern. The VIAVI Test Suite for O-RAN Specifications offers comprehensive, integrated solutions to validate that all interfaces are working correctly—including RF, signaling and interoperability, timing and synchronization—and equipment is performing to specifications even under load and stress. In the lab, the TM500 and TeraVM families deliver 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.
VIAVI supported the following plugfests:
• Berlin, Germany. This plugfest was hosted by Deutsche Telekom, with demonstrations of radio access equipment from Baicells, Benetel, Foxconn, QCT, Wind River, Wiwynn and other vendors. VIAVI provided the 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.
• Torino, Italy. This plugfest was hosted by TIM, with demonstrations of radio access equipment from Commscope, WNC, Wiwynn and other vendors. VIAVI provided the MTS-5800 for timing and synchronization.
• Madrid, Spain. This plugfest was hosted by a major Spanish service provider, with demonstrations of O-RAN x-haul (fronthaul and midhaul) transport with equipment from multiple vendors. VIAVI provided the MTS-5800 for timing and synchronization, and ONT-800 for multi-port transport test.
• Bengaluru, India. This plugfest was hosted by Airtel, with demonstrations of multi-vendor integration of O-RAN compliant radio access software and equipment from Altiostar, NEC, VVDN and Xilinx. The VIAVI TM500-C-5G 5G NR UE emulator and TM500 O-RU emulator were used for in-depth verification of the O-DU’s compliance to the WG4 open fronthaul (C/U/S planes) specification.
• Tokyo, Japan. This plugfest was hosted by Japanese service providers, with demonstrations of radio equipment from major O-DU/O-CU and O-RU vendors. VIAVI provided the TM500 for 5G NR UE emulation.
“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, 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.”