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Test and Measurement: Keysight, Viavi support O-RAN global plugfest

Keysight Technologies and Viavi Solutions touted their support of the most recent Open RAN Alliance global plugfest event, which was the third such event focused on testing the performance capabilities of O-RAN-compliant systems and interoperability across the O-RAN ecosystem.

“Rigorous testing under real-world conditions is critical to successful end-to-end integration of O-RAN equipment prior to live network deployment,” Keysight said in a release.

The O-RAN plugfest was held as a series of events around the world in October and November. Keysight said that more than 40 vendors, a dozen mobile network operators and five Open Testing and Integration Centers (OTIC) utilized its Keysight Open RAN Architect (KORA) solutions to test multi-vendor network functions and O-RAN specification compliance. Keysight’s portfolio was used at seven of the global Plugfest venues, and in 10 locations and 12 labs across Asia, Europe and North America. Rigorous testing under real-world conditions is critical to successful end-to-end integration of O-RAN equipment prior to live network deployment.

Meanwhile, Viavi Solutions, which worked with hosting operators and vendors at seven locations around the world, observed in a release that this year’s event illustrated “the rapid evolution of the O-RAN ecosystem” and increased focus on the RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC). The RIC, as described by Viavi, “changes the way network resources are managed, bringing artificial intelligence and big data into day-to-day operations.” Viavi said that its TeraVM RIC Test was used by participating companies to test RIC performance under a range of Radio Access Network scenarios, to generate the data needed to train AI models, and to test functionality of rApps and xApps.

Participating telecom operators included most of the major global MNOs, including AT&T, Verizon, Telefónica, Rakuten Mobile, Bharti Airtel, Chunghwa Telecom, Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, Orange, TIM and more.

“With each O-RAN plugfest, we have seen commitment from more service providers, a proliferation of vendors, and clearer signs that the technology is progressing toward maturity,” said Sameh Yamany, CTO of Viavi. “In 2021, the scope of investigation has expanded beyond connectivity between O-RAN elements to automated assurance and optimization using the RIC and xApps.”

In other test news:

Anritsu says that its equipment is part of the first 5G over-the-air radio frequency test system for vehicles, delivered to Toyota. The system uses Anritsu’s Radio Communication Test Station MT8000A as part of a test environment from Microwave Vision Group (MVG).

Rohde & Schwarz has developed a new Compact Antenna Test Range (CATR) for automotive use, in partnership with customized test system supplier NOFFZ Technologies. The CATR can be used with radar sensors and provide direct far-field (DFF) measurements.

In related news, Rohde’s RTS Radar Test System was named Test Product of the Year at the Electronics’ Weekly’s Elektra Awards 2021.

-The Wireless Innovation Forum (WInnForum) has certified Compliance Certification Services as a WInnForum-approved lab for testing CBRS Citizens Broadband Radio Service Devices, or CBSDs.

WInnForum said that there are now more than 15 certified test labs around the world for CBSDs.

-ICYMI: Ookla has acquired benchmarking company RootMetrics, which should make for some interesting combinations of drive- and walk-test data with crowd-sourced, device-based information and analysis. Read more details about the acquisition here, and read RCR’s interview with Ookla’s CEO, GM and co-founder Doug Suttles about how the purchase fits into Ookla’s overall strategic direction.

-Testing and certification lab network SGS has established a new “Innovation Squad” that relies on digital tech and methods for fast prototyping and “user centric product development.” The team, based in Lisbon, Portugal, is the first of a number of regional Innovation Squads that SGS plans to put together; it says recruiting is already underway for its second squad. The SGS Squad will work with SGS business sectors including its Connectivity and Products sector, its Industries and Environment sector and its Natural Resources sector.

ABOUT AUTHOR

Kelly Hill
Kelly reports on network test and measurement, as well as the use of big data and analytics. She first covered the wireless industry for RCR Wireless News in 2005, focusing on carriers and mobile virtual network operators, then took a few years’ hiatus and returned to RCR Wireless News to write about heterogeneous networks and network infrastructure. Kelly is an Ohio native with a masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where she focused on science writing and multimedia. She has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, The Oregonian and The Canton Repository. Follow her on Twitter: @khillrcr

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