Viavi Solutions has announced that it is supporting NTT DOCOMO, Inc.’s 5G open radio access network (O-RAN) ecosystem (OREC). NTT DOCOMO has used the Viavi TM500 Network Tester for base station testing from the early stages of 3G through to 5G, and has now adopted key elements of the company’s leading test suite for end-to-end testing of the entire O-RAN. Both companies are also active contributors to specifications development in the O-RAN Alliance.
NTT DOCOMO launched OREC in 2021, growing the ecosystem to 13 vendor partners. The initiative’s ambition is not limited to advancements in its own 5G network, but extends to enabling ubiquitous connectivity for users around the globe. As such, NTT DOCOMO is committed to allowing overseas mobile operators to remotely access the shared open lab in Yokosuka, Japan to validate their own virtualised RAN.
Based on its leading position validating network products for operators and manufacturers worldwide, the Viavi test suite gave NTT DOCOMO confidence that it would support the requirements of operators from all over the globe. The end-to-end testing of the O-RAN is enabled by the TM500 Network Tester, TM500 O-DU Tester, the TeraVM O-CU Tester and the TeraVM Core Emulator. The critical use cases include:
- Benchmarking performance of a virtual O-DU and O-CU individually or in combination where the O-RU could be real or emulated. This provides the operator the ability to validate the performance of the virtual components against a real or emulated O-RU in a repeatable way.
- Super-high load testing – The combined use of the TM500, TM500 O-DU Tester, TeraVM O-CU Tester and TeraVM Core Emulator provides the operator the flexibility to stress test the O-DU/O-CU to near or exceeding full capacity to identify where there are performance bottlenecks.
- Flexible end-to-end scenario testing – All of the test elements have a single point of control, allowing the operator to do multiple combinations of traffic scenarios, over 1000’s of emulated UEs, hundreds of emulated DUs, multiple 5G carriers, while exercising different aspects of the virtual O-RAN components across frequency ranges from sub 6GHz to millimeter wave frequencies.
Viavi offers the most comprehensive test suite on the market for lab validation, field deployment and service assurance of O-RAN networks. With vast experience validating network products for operators and manufacturers worldwide, Viavi allows any node – O-RU, O-DU, O-CU, RIC and Core – and complete end-to-end testing to be performed on premise, in the cloud or as a service.
Commenting on the development, Sadayuki Abeta, general manager, Radio Access Network Development Department, NTT DOCOMO, Inc., said, “In response to the diversifying needs of the market, NTT DOCOMO is driving 5G open and virtualised RAN solutions with its ecosystem partners, aiming to realise highly flexible networks globally. Our collaboration with Viavi will ensure robust and comprehensive validation of virtualised base stations, and facilitate availability for operators around the globe.”
Meanwhile, Rajesh Rao, vice president, Asia Pacific and Japan, Viavi, said, “NTT DOCOMO’s bold vision and exacting requirements have always raised the bar for our solutions, and their advancement of O-RAN is no exception. The disaggregation of the network places a heavy focus on interoperability as a third pillar of validation alongside conformance and performance. Viavi’s test suite has been proven to deliver all three.”