Viavi Solutions has announced extensions to its open radio access network (O-RAN) test suite to enable the industry to address challenges of maximising development productivity and speed to market. The company’s portfolio of end-to-end test and assurance solutions for O-RAN – augmented by partnerships with leading vendors – can be deployed on premise, in the cloud or as a service. At MWC Barcelona, February 28 – March 3, 2022, Viavi will be showcasing joint solutions with AMD, Ericsson, and Rohde & Schwarz.

As O-RAN moves from the lab to the field, challenges of deploying any new technology are compounded by the need to support legacy networks. While greenfield operators are less concerned about this issue and are quicker to adopt cloud-native architectures, incumbents must balance the needs of significant subscriber and revenue bases. The resulting operator landscape requires vendors to configure solutions to address multiple generations of radio technology, bridging traditional infrastructure and the cloud, and integrating with incumbent equipment providers.

To address the accelerating pace of O-RAN adoption, Viavi is introducing several enhancements to its industry-leading portfolio of end-to-end test and assurance solutions:

  • RIC Test – TeraVM RIC Test validates the performance of the RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) when presented with a wide range of RAN scenarios, tests the functionality of rApps and xApps, and provides the means to generate the data needed to train artificial intelligence (AI) models.
  • Test in the Cloud – Viavi allows any node – O-RU, O-DU, O-CU, RIC and Core – and complete end-to-end testing to be performed in public, private and edge cloud environments.
  • Test as a Service -Viavi now provides a test-as-a-service (TaaS), offering the support to maximise engineering productivity and provide access to the right tools and expertise to enable the rapid delivery of high performance and ultra-reliable cellular communication products.
  • TMLite – The capabilities of the flagship TM500 Network Tester are now available in a streamlined version on a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) server, enabling vendors to deploy focused functional test tools earlier in the development cycle, and allow smaller vendors to gain access to the TM500 family with a more compact package. The TMLite is built around the latest third-generation AMD EPYC processors which offer high compute and input/output flexibility per server, enabling multiple carriers of 4G and 5G at RF and open fronthaul.

As part of its commitment to deliver the most comprehensive solution suite in an evolving industry, Viavi has also partnered with an ecosystem of leading companies. Recent developments include:

  • Capgemini – Viavi has collaborated with Capgemini, through Capgemini Engineering in Portugal, to deliver an industry-leading 5G and O-RAN lab test capability, powered by Viavi’s O-RAN Lab-as-a-Service (LaaS) to ensure successful network integration of 5G networks and accelerate Lab-to-Live trials for O-RAN.
  • Ericsson – Viavi will be delivering geolocation capabilities as a non-real-time RIC application (rApp) on the Ericsson Intelligent Automation Platform, a service management and orchestration product which enables any mobile network, purpose-built or cloud RAN / O-RAN, to be intelligently automated.
  • Rohde & Schwarz – Viavi and Rohde & Schwarz are partnering to offer an integrated solution for conformance testing of O-RAN Radio Units (O-RUs), including the O-RU test manager which provides a seamless user experience.

Commenting on the development, Sameh Yamany, chief technology officer, Viavi, said, “O-RAN is moving out of the lab into the real world, facing the messy complexities of mapping theoretically sound technologies and architectures to a wide diversity of implementation scenarios. Viavi has harnessed its decades of leadership in test tools for cellular and virtual networks, our critical role in industry organisations such as the O-RAN Alliance, and our relationships with other major vendors to ensure our customers have access to tailored and best-of-breed solutions.”

At MWC Barcelona 2022, Viavi will be conducting joint demonstrations with the following partners:

  • AMD, Stand #2M61 – Viavi and AMD will jointly demonstrate the ability to test the O-DU cost effectively with a small footprint solution able to do both UE emulation and open fronthaul testing in one small and compact solution. The Viavi TMLite – based on a server with AMD EPYC CPUs – is connected to an O-DU as the device under test where upon running the test, both uplink and downlink data rates are shown over a high order MIMO carrier. Performance testing without compromise is possible with a cost-effective compact solution.
  • Ericsson, Stand #2O60 – The Ericsson Intelligent Automation Platform enables any network to be intelligently automated and will work across new and existing 4G and 5G radio access networks (RANs), including purpose-built and cloud RAN / O-RAN networks. Using the platform, Ericsson’s operator customers will be able to utilise the intelligence from one rApp in combination with other rApps running on the platform, in the creation of services. The NITRO Mobility geolocation capability from Viavi will be available as rApp – a modular radio network application leveraging the non-real-time RAN Intelligent Controller (Non-RT RIC) capability of the SMO platform. NITRO Mobility is the leading solution for intelligence, assurance and optimization based on geolocated, app-aware insight.
  • Rohde & Schwarz, Stand #5A80 – Viavi and Rohde & Schwarz will jointly demonstrate O-RAN WG4 fronthaul conformance testing. An O-RU Reference Design is validated by Viavi’s automated TM500 O-RU tester with R&S SMW200A vector signal generator, R&S FSVA3000 signal and spectrum analyzer and the R&S VSE signal analysis software.