Keysight Technologies, Inc. announced it joined forces with Xilinx, Inc. and Cisco to showcase fronthaul solutions that support a smooth migration path from traditional 4G LTE networks to 5G open radio access networks (O-RAN).  

Multi-vendor RAN deployments based on open standard interfaces defined by the O-RAN Alliance require thorough end-to-end validation across RF and protocol domains, as well as from the physical to the application layer. Keysight offers integrated hardware and software O-RAN solutions that enable a diverse ecosystem of vendors and mobile operators to quickly verify performance, interoperability and compliance to the O-RAN specification of each network element and end-to-end.

"Keysight is working with Xilinx and Cisco to support the development of 4G and 5G solutions that share the same fronthaul network, enabling mobile operators to cost-effectively migrate to 5G open RAN deployments," said Giampaolo Tardioli, vice president and general manager of Keysight's network access group. "Our demonstration underscores the robustness of O-RAN specifications by bringing together Keysight Open RAN Architect solutions with Xilinx's O-RAN compliant radio unit (O-RU) and Cisco's fronthaul gateway, supporting both common public radio interface (CPRI) and O-RAN fronthaul interfaces."

Keysight's S5040A Open RAN Studio Player and Capture Appliance, is a hardware platform that constructs, plays, captures and measures O-RAN traffic over fronthaul Ethernet interfaces. During the recent Mobile World Congress (MWC 21), Keysight revealed a video demonstration, which combined this instrument-grade test and measurement tool with Keysight's PathWave Signal Generation (Signal Studio), PathWave Vector Signal Analysis (89600 VSA) and Open RAN Studio software to emulate a distributed unit (O-DU), capture O-RAN uplink communications and validate an O-RU's functional operation and performance.

"The promise of 5G Open RAN includes flexibility, scalability and interoperability amongst vendors to ultimately ensure an easier path for system deployment," said Gilles Garcia, senior director, Wired and Wireless Business at Xilinx. "Our collaboration with Keysight and Cisco is delivering on that promise and by using a Xilinx world-class O-RAN radio unit, the integration is also seamless as well as delivering the performance that operators require."

"Cisco is greatly invested in O-RAN standards because of the many benefits provided to the industry through open interfaces and a software-based system architecture," said Kishen Mangat, vice president of Business Development, O-RAN at Cisco. "The collaboration with Keysight and Xilinx shown in the MWC 21 video demonstrates that as operators move away from legacy proprietary implementations to open, virtual RAN, they will have the ability to deploy more secure, efficient and competitive radio access networks that are able to support 5G advanced services and beyond."