Before any solution is deployed in a network it must undergo a lot of testing. Vendors work with operators in their labs to prove the viability of the new product and ensure that it will integrate successfully into their network.
The same is true with Open Radio Access Network (RAN) products, but more so. Unlike traditional monolithic RAN solutions, Open RAN relies on multiple vendors coming together to provide a solution that is built on carefully defined industry-approved standards. Because of these standards, products from different vendors can be integrated into one cost-effective solution, allowing operators to select a best-in-class approach to the products they use to build out their networks. Often, these open solutions are brought together in a lab to test their integration capabilities and see how they would perform in the field.
Radisys recently joined several other vendors in the open RAN ecosystem at the O-RAN Alliance PlugFest hosted by CableLabs, an Open Testing and Integration Centre (OTIC). The objective of this plugfest was to demonstrate successful end-to-end integration with emulated UE traffic, monitor system latency performance, and test the solutions load and Stress management and capabilities. Radisys supplied its Connect 5G RAN Central Unit (CU) and Distributed Unit (DU) for integration with a radio unit (RU) from Sunwave, UE, 5GC emulators from VIAVI, sender policy framework (SPFs) from Lumentum, and FH delays from Calnex and Xena networks.
Radisys DU+CU Combo - Architecture and Features
Radisys Connect RAN’s innovative platform (hardware and software) is a Combo CU with DU solution that handles all layers (L1, L2 and L3) and software stacks functions of the protocol stack from High PHY, Layer 2/layer 3 as per 3GPP release 16. Radisys O-CU/O-DU can be deployed as a combo or as a separate element in a central or edge data center.
For this PlugFest, the Radisys team, led by Solution Architect Suraj Chaudhary, worked closely with the other O-RAN Alliance members to simulate an entire end-to-end Open RAN system under a variety of test situations to ensure that the integration of all the components worked seamlessly together. The tests covered a number of KPIs, including downlink (DL) and uplink (UL) throughput to measure bidirectional throughput in different radio conditions, as well as tests designed to measure the Uplink aggregated cell throughput (cell capacity) in different radio conditions. In all of these tests, the multi-vendor Open RAN Solution performed extremely well and passed each as expected.
Summary of Results
Events like this PlugFest and resources like the independent OTIC locations help not only refine and improve the integration of Open RAN subcomponents, they provide opportunities to help establish potential deployment blueprints for a variety of use cases and new service offerings for Communication Service Providers (CSPs). Furthermore, these various tests demonstrate that products from an open ecosystem of RAN vendors can be integrated smoothly and perform under a range of functions and loads.
Open RAN continues to mature. The work done by the O-RAN Alliance members and other open industry groups has laid a significant foundation to enable successful plugfests like this one, and others in the future, are helping refine how open standards are interpreted so that adjustments can be made to ensure that the integration of components from different vendors is done correctly.
Radisys has been at the forefront of the open telecom transformation, and we look forward to continuing to work with this growing ecosystem of Open RAN vendors to ensure that Open RAN solutions are a success and support CSPs in their efforts to deploy Open RAN solutions in their networks.
To learn more about Radisys’ Connect RAN platform visit https://www.radisys.com/connect/connectran.