Keysight Technologies, Inc. participated in the fourth global PlugFest event organized by the O-RAN ALLIANCE , accelerating development of Open RAN (O-RAN) technologies with open standard interfaces, intelligence and security.
Keysight Open RAN Architect (KORA) solution portfolio enabled 15 vendors, four mobile operators and two open testing and integration centers (OTIC) at three PlugFest venues and five labs across Asia, Europe and North America to verify integration of multi-vendor network functions and compliance to O-RAN specifications.
Keysight collaborated with leading vendors and mobile operators on industry-first demonstrations in key areas of innovation including:
- Evaluation and assessment of energy savings features using live networks traffic profiles which have shown significant reduction in energy consumption for a multi-vendors cloud-native O-RAN system.
- Enablement of RAN intelligent controller (RIC) assisted artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) optimization for energy savings and admission control use cases, as well as an orchestration framework that supports rapid deployment of test and validation for near real-time RICs and xApps.
- Pre-certification testing of the O-RAN Radio Unit (O-RU), automated security testing for DevSecOps with 3GPP Security Assurance Specification (SCAS) test cases, Denial of Service (DoS) and fuzzing attacks simulations and performance testing of O-RAN Xhaul transport network elements' fronthaul implementation under real-world conditions.
"Keysight is pleased to collaborate with partners in the fourth O-RAN Global PlugFest during which we have successfully completed several industry-first demonstrations in key areas including energy savings, RIC-enabled AI/ML based optimization, test automation framework for RICs and applications, pre-certification testing, DevSecOps security with attacks simulation and transport network elements performance testing," said Giampaolo Tardioli, vice president and general manager of Keysight's Network and Operators group.
Fourteen Keysight solutions were used to make progress in the development of technical and test specifications for open standard interfaces, Xhaul transportation, O-Cloud, RIC, and AI/ML that enabled use cases and O-RAN security requirements. Keysight worked with the global PlugFest hosts, sponsors and labs in:
- Europe with Telefonica (European OTIC in Madrid)
- Taiwan with Auray Technology Corp. (OTIC in Taiwan)
- U.S. with AT&T and DISH (co-sponsors) in the COSMOS Testbed sandbox at WINLAB, Rutgers University, POWDER Platform at the University of Utah and University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory.
PlugFest participants seamlessly integrated KORA software and hardware platforms to test the following:
O-RAN Energy Savings - Keysight's O-RAN Energy Savings test solution was used to demonstrate reduction in power consumption for a multi-vendors O-RAN system that includes containerized O-DU and O-CU software, O-Cloud software and hardware including state of the art processors with telemetry and power management features and accelerators using live network traffic profiles. Collaborators: Intel, Radisys, Vodafone and Wind River
- This test solution consists of O-RU emulator with embedded UEE capabilities (RuSIM), core emulator (CoreSIM) and test automation framework (PathWave Test Automation) for stateful emulation of the network digital twin to test the O-RAN system. Keysight's power analyzer (PA2203A IntegraVision) performed precise real-time measurements of the power consumption throughout the tests.
- The company's Performance Benchmarking Solution (PBM) characterized the O-RAN system's energy consumption/savings profiles and performed closed loop optimization of power savings parameters used in the O-RAN system modeled after energy savings rApps
- O-RAN Radio Unit (O-RU) – Keysight's O-RAN O-RU test solution consisting of the company's O-DU emulation (Open RAN Studio), RF signal sources and analyzers (UXA signal analyzer, VXG signal generator), and test automation framework (PathWave Test Automation) provided pre-certification testing of the O-RUs including validation of 3GPP and O-RAN conformance and performance of the open fronthaul control, user, synchronization and management planes implementation across RF and protocol measurement domains. Collaborators: Foxconn, Kinpo Electronics and LITEON
- O-RAN End-to-End (E2E) – Keysight's RAN test solution consisting of UEE capabilities (UeSIM) and CoreSIM assessed small cells E2E performance, security and latency under load and stress test conditions. Collaborators: LIONS Technology, LITEON, Pegatron Corp., SageRAN and WNC
O-RAN Near and non-Real-Time RICs, xApps and rApps - Keysight's RIC and xApps/rApps test solution (RICtest) was used for three scenarios:
- Energy savings use case for large scale O-RAN network simulation with Juniper Networks Energy Savings rApp leveraging the O-RAN compliant O1 interface for the collection of standards-compliant performance metrics and reconfiguration of Keysight RIC tester emulated E2 nodes. Collaborator: Juniper Networks
- G eNB Admission Control rApp and xApp, with Keysight's RIC test solution providing O-RAN network simulation of 60 eNBs across several tracking areas and device emulation of hundreds of onboarding subscribers and Juniper Networks' Non-RT RIC and Admission Control rApp providing the overall governance across multiple Near-RT RICs. Collaborator: Juniper Networks
- A powerful cloud-native platform for O-RAN test automation that enables vendors to automatically test and validate O-RAN near real-time RICs and xApps on-demand, across a customizable parameter space with Keysight's RICtest O-RAN Near-real time RIC test software integrated with University of Utah's POWDER "lab as a service" automation framework (PLAF). Keysight's RICtest was deployed with updated Open Networking Foundation's software-defined RAN near real-time RIC. Collaborator: POWDER Platform at the University of Utah
- O-RAN Security - Keysight's O-RAN Security test solution consisting of UEE (UeSIM),CoreSIM, transport network testing solution (IxNetwork) and transport network impairment solution (Network Emulator 3) to perform testing of security test cases specified by the O-RAN Security Focus Group (SFG) / WG11 including 3GPP SCAS automated tests, DoS and Fuzzing attacks on the O-RAN system. Collaborator: Pegatron Corp.
- O-RAN Xhaul Transport Network Elements - Keysight's O-RAN Xhaul transport network test solution consisting of O-DU, O-RU emulation (IxNetwork / Novus) and precision timing system (Metronome Timing System) to validate transport network elements' performance, benchmarking latency characteristics of fronthaul traffic under real-world conditions specified by the O-RAN Xhaul transport WG9 and measurement of relative time error between multiple O-RUs. Collaborators: Cisco Systems Inc, Juniper Networks and IP Infusion.