Rohde & Schwarz and Viavi Solutions Inc announced an expansion of their partnership for joint wireless lab test solutions. The two companies, leaders in wireless communication test and active in standards development, continue to address critical requirements based on new 3GPP and O-RAN specifications. Since the launch of this partnership, Rohde & Schwarz and VIAVI have established a reputation for compact, flexible solutions drawing from the strengths of both companies while delivering a seamless user experience.

Open RAN

With several major deployment announcements by Tier-1 service providers, Open RAN has entered the mainstream of network infrastructure. While subsystem and end-to-end conformance, performance and interoperability remain critical, test needs have grown.

Network Energy Saving. O-RAN radio units (O-RU) consume the majority of power in 5G radio access networks. Network equipment manufacturers and service providers are prioritizing O-RU energy efficiency without sacrificing performance. Rohde & Schwarz and VIAVI have developed a fully automated testbed to verify O-RU energy efficiency, including the R&S RTO6 oscilloscope, R&S NGP800 power supply and the VIAVI TM500 O-RU Tester. The TM500 O-RU Tester emulates the DU, synchronizes and configures the O-RU and offers several test scripts to verify O-RU energy efficiency under different load conditions. The R&S equipment can then monitor dynamic device activities versus power consumption: The oscilloscope monitors energy dynamics under various traffic conditions by tracking power changes over time, while the power supply – besides powering the O-RU – also provides high measurement resolution and accuracy over a long period of time. The VIAVI O-RU Test Manager Application ensures a seamless user experience across the testbed.

Test Scalability. As O-RAN radios move to commercial deployment, development testing needs to move beyond lab validation of conformance to greater use case and functionality testing within R&D. These newer use cases prioritize simplicity, speed and cost effectiveness in testing. The R&S PVT360A is a compact, single-box vector signal analyzer and vector signal generator that combines with the VIAVI TM500 O-RU Tester and VIAVI O-RU Test Manager Application for a more scalable solution, providing a cost-optimized and simpler setup that is well-suited for R&D teams that require multiple test lines to accelerate time to market.

Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTNs)

Satellite operators, mobile network operators, equipment vendors and end user application providers need to be able to evaluate the performance of NTN networks and the traffic that runs across them. To support a variety of use cases, Rohde & Schwarz and VIAVI have developed an NTN digital twin testbed covering low earth, medium earth and geosynchronous orbit. Use cases include validating end-to-end connectivity and performance; measuring quality of service over large coverage areas with different types of UEs; end user application performance while coping with distance, speed and mobility of both satellite and UE; and reliability and stability. The testbed includes:

  • The R&S CMX500 mobile communication network tester, with channel emulation and fading in a single box, including all 3GPP fading profiles
  • The VIAVI TM500-AS2, a streamlined version of the flagship used by global network equipment manufacturers for base station testing, fully supporting the 3GPP protocol including Doppler and delay pre-compensation
  • The VIAVI TeraVM Real Data Applications engine, enabling rich and realistic application and traffic scenarios to test system performance under varying conditions.

"It feels great to work with experts,” said Alexander Pabst, vice president market segment wireless communications at Rohde & Schwarz. “Combining our market leading products to create solutions that address our customers’ problems in smart ways. Energy efficiency tests hit the nerve of the industry, and our smaller footprint setup meets the needs of new segments that are popping up left and right of conformance. In addition, I am extremely pleased to see our collaboration expanding into space with the most compact digital twin solution for NTN. Here, not even the sky is the limit!”

“Since we introduced joint O-RU conformance testing, R&S and VIAVI have been delivering on our vision of best-of-breed approach with a unified customer experience,” said Ian Langley, senior vice president and general manager, wireless business unit, VIAVI. “We are pleased to expand our partnership into new areas of demand, as O-RAN equipment enters commercial deployment and evolution and the industry incorporates NTN to augment coverage in mobile communications.”