Keysight Technologies, Inc. has signed a memorandum of understanding with NTT DOCOMO, INC., Japan's largest telecommunications company, to support the development and deployment of multi-vendor 5G networks built on open standard interfaces, driving the growing maturity of open radio access network (RAN) ecosystems.
Keysight's open radio access network architect (KORA) has enabled NTT DOCOMO, a provider of innovative, convenient and secure mobile services, to establish a 5G Open RAN Ecosystem testbed with a virtual RAN (vRAN) verification environment. The 5G Open RAN Ecosystem test lab offers companies the opportunity to address a diverse range of test, verification, interoperability and optimization needs. KORA brings together a comprehensive family of scalable and software-driven solutions, enabling users to effectively address the entire workflow, from early design and development to product validation and deployment.
"Keysight established a strong working relationship with NTT DOCOMO in 2015, when the industry was in the early stages of creating the initial foundational blocks of the next generation of mobile communications," said Kalyan Sundhar, vice president and general manager for Keysight's 5G edge to core industry group. "Establishing a thriving 5G Open RAN Ecosystem is critical to the success of the O-RAN standard, which makes it possible to deploy a multi-vendor infrastructure in support of operator roll-out plans across different use case requirements."
Both companies are active contributors to the O-RAN Alliance, which was founded in 2018 and supports more than three hundred companies around the world. Keysight drives the development of major technical and test specifications for open interfaces, cloud, transport, security and end-to-end test and integration, and co-chairs a committee that drives O-RAN specification priorities.
"NTT DOCOMO is committed to delivering open and virtualized RAN to global operators through the 5G Open RAN Ecosystem," said Sadayuki Abeta, general manager of Radio Access Network Development Department at NTT DOCOMO. "Keysight is a leading contributor to test and integration for 5G development, and we expect their test equipment and capabilities will help to accelerate open RAN to the next stage of commercialization."
KORA enables users to perform end-to-end testing, from the edge of the RAN to the cloud, as well as from early pre-silicon development to system integration. Vendors of various components of the RAN across the ecosystem, hyperscalers, open test and integration centers and mobile operators use KORA to ensure desired levels of performance, quality of service, interoperability, security and compliance to the latest specifications.
The collaboration includes the development of RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) technology, which improves radio resource management in the RAN and simplifies the use of network function virtualization, multi-access edge computing, artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies. Keysight's RICtest enables users to simulate thousands of O-RAN network elements for efficient validation of near and non-real time RIC behavior.