Spirent Communications has announced a software-based version of its open distributed unit (O-DU) wraparound test solution that is scalable to support continuous integration, continuous delivery, and continuous testing (CI/CD/CT) pipelines. The new solution stress-tests O-DU functionality and performance to help customers accelerate validation and enable faster deployment of open-radio access networks and technology.
Commenting on the announcement, James Kimery, vice president, product management, Lifecycle Service Assurance, Spirent, said, “Open radio access network (O-RAN) introduces new complexities and challenges to testing the RAN. Having launched our first O-DU test solution earlier this year, we continue to listen to the needs of the market are pleased to be expanding our portfolio to address customer demand for affordable test scalability. Our O-DU solution is designed to provide the most cost-effective way to scale to hundreds of parallel test lines, significantly shorten time-to-market, and improve operational efficiencies.”
A single DU must manage many radio units (RUs) and hundreds of end-user devices (UEs). Testing requires the emulation of high volumes of UEs and RUs to stress the DU and evaluate maximum performance and capacity, but massive scaling of traditional hardware-based testing is complex and cost prohibitive. In tackling this, Spirent’s new software-based O-RAN DU test solution provides:
- Comprehensive testing at massive scale
- A simplified testing environment with a single user interface
- A dramatically reduced hardware footprint
- Integration with the customer’s CI/CD/CT automation workflow processes to cut overall testing time and improve accuracy.
Further, Kimery added , “The ability to test the O-DU at scale in a virtualised environment can reduce test and validation costs by as much as 80 per cent.”
In addition, Spirent is building on the success of its existing 5G core automation platform by offering the industry’s first O-RAN automation packages. Providing subscription access to unique pre-built test case libraries, the O-RAN automation packages help customers reduce set-up time and slash costs associated with developing and maintaining their own test suites.