Spirent Communications has announced the release of end-to-end, ODU and RIC testing, completing its open radio access network (O-RAN) test solution portfolio. Building upon its previously available O-CU and O-RU test solutions, Spirent now offers the most robust and realistic O-RAN testing, a move that will help accelerate widespread O-RAN adoption. Spirent’s comprehensive testing approach and 5G ecosystem expertise will ensure O-RAN functionality, interoperability, and field-ready performance.

Commenting on the development, James Kimery, VP of product management, Lifecycle Service Assurance business, Spirent Communications, said, “O-RAN has great potential to introduce new use cases and innovation while lowering costs, but only if its performance and business model deliver as promised. With all the opportunity O-RAN has unlocked, it is made testing more complex than traditional RAN approaches and placed a greater testing burden downstream to carriers and network operators who must integrate various vendor systems. That’s why we’ve focused on offering a simplified and automated approach with fully integrated solutions, prebuilt test cases, and centralised control via one user interface, regardless of the type of test performed. Additionally, our O-RAN solutions cover today’s established industry standard testing and push beyond to ensure the requirements for superior carrier-grade, production-ready criteria are met to ensure deployment success.”

Spirent’s unique O-RAN portfolio provides the following:

  • Comprehensive multi-vendor interoperability and advanced performance testing using real-time emulation – Spirent offers the most thorough, reliable, and realistic testing using comprehensive test portfolios and real-time (bi-directional) emulation, which most accurately reflects a live, real-world O-RAN environment.
  • Automation – Spirent’s O-RAN solutions provide pre-built test libraries across performance, resiliency, security, compliance, and more with a fully integrated system with open APIs. Additionally, the solution is designed to plug-and-play seamlessly into any automation pipeline.
  • Single User Experience – O-RAN testing requires a variety of testing and emulation approaches, which Spirent has integrated into the industry’s only system managed through a single user experience, regardless of the testing type being executed.

Meanwhile, Caroline Gabriel, research director, Analysys Mason, said, “The complexity of O-RAN and 5G require new automated testing methodologies that validate real-world performance and robustness. Spirent’s O-RAN portfolio provides comprehensive, integrated solutions that are specifically designed and tailored for functional and performance testing of the multi-vendor RAN.

Additionally, John Baker, SVP, business development, Mavenir, said, “As a well-established Spirent customer, Mavenir was an early purchaser of Spirent’s O-RAN solutions. Spirent is a key contributor to Mavenir’s success in validating our Open RAN components are market-ready. Spirent provides the real-time and real-world emulation capabilities we require to feel confident pre-deployment and we look forward to continued collaboration for successful future rollouts.”

Kimery further added, “Emulation comes to the forefront as a critical technology of any O-RAN testbed. Spirent is the market leader in real-time emulation, from the 5G Core, to individual O-RAN components, to the RF environment. Functional and performance tests of any of these components must have real emulation in real-time, at performance and at scale. Combined with industry-leading automation through a simplified user interface, this comprehensive O-RAN portfolio reduces test time while increasing test coverage and enabling CI/CD processes.”