Keysight's Participation in O-RAN Global Plugfest 2021 Enables Ecosystem to Speed Open RAN Technology Development and Specifications Maturity
Comprehensive portfolio used to verify interoperability and conformance and to demonstrate proof of concepts
SANTA ROSA, Calif. December 17, 2021
Keysight Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: KEYS), a leading technology company that delivers advanced design and validation solutions to help accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world, participated in the third global Plugfest event organized by the O-RAN ALLIANCE, accelerating development of technologies with open standard interfaces.
Keysight Open RAN Architect (KORA) solution portfolio enabled more than 40 vendors, 12 mobile operators and 5 Open Testing and Integration Centers (OTIC) to verify integration of multi-vendor network functions and compliance to O-RAN specifications. Leading vendors and mobile operators used Keysight's lab-based emulation platforms, passive monitoring and troubleshooting tools, as well as field test solutions, at seven Plugfest venues, ten locations and twelve 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.
Keysight collaborated with the global Plugfest hosts in:
- Europe with BT, Deutsche Telekom (i14y Lab in Berlin, which served as OTIC), Orange (European OTIC in Paris), Telefonica (European OTIC in Madrid), TIM (European OTIC in Torino) and Vodafone
- India with Bharti Airtel
- Japan with Rakuten Mobile, Inc.
- Russia with Skoltech Project Center of Next Generation Wireless
- South Korea with LG Uplus
- Taiwan with Auray Technology Corp. (OTIC in Taiwan) and Chunghwa Telecom
- United States of America with AT&T and Verizon
"Keysight is pleased to contribute with O-RAN solutions that span early pre-silicon development to system integration, which enables vendors, hyperscale data centers and service providers to validate designs used to create robust networks based on O-RAN specifications," said Giampaolo Tardioli, vice president and general manager of Keysight's network access group. "Common software platforms and built-in test automation capabilities support continuous integration and deployment and continuous testing, delivering accelerated verification across the product workflow."
Many mobile operators, vendors, research organizations and academic institutions, rely on Keysight's solutions to achieve end-to-end integration of network elements in cloud-native and virtualized radio access network (vRAN) architectures. Keysight participated with 94 companies at the event to advance specifications supporting key enabling O-RAN technologies. The Plugfest used more than 17 Keysight solutions to make significant progress in the development of technical and test specifications for open standard interfaces, Xhaul transportation, O-Cloud, RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC), and artificial intelligence / machine learning that enabled use cases and O-RAN security requirements.
Plugfest participants seamlessly integrated KORA software and hardware platforms to test the following:
- O-RAN Radio Unit (O-RU) – the combination of Keysight's O-DU emulation (Open RAN Studio), radio frequency (RF) signal sources and analyzers (UXA signal analyzer, VXG signal generator), as well as the company's test automation framework (PathWave Test Automation) were used to validate 3GPP and O-RAN conformance and performance of the open fronthaul implementation across RF and protocol measurement domains. Collaborators: ADI, Alpha Networks Inc., Cambridge Industries Group (CIG), Comba, Foxconn, Fujitsu, LIONS Technology, LITEON, MICAS (Shenzhen) Telecommunication Co., Ltd., Microelectronics Technology Inc., New Kinpo Group, Radio Gigabit, WNC and Xilinx
- O-RAN Fronthaul Gateways (FHGW) – the combination of Keysight's O-DU emulation (Open RAN Studio), and RF instruments (UXA signal analyzer, VXG signal generator) were used to validate the gateway's connectivity and performance between legacy fronthaul equipment and O-RAN devices. Collaborators: Cisco Systems Inc. and VVDN
- O-RAN Central Unit (O-CU) - Keysight's O-DU emulator with embedded user equipment emulation (UEE) capabilities (DuSIM) was used to validate O-CU functionality, performance and conformance to 3GPP standards and O-RAN control and user plane profiles over the midhaul F1 interface. Collaborator: Accelleran
- O-RAN Distributed Unit (O-DU) and Central Unit (O-CU) Interoperability (IOT) – the combination of Keysight's O-RU emulator with embedded UEE capabilities (RuSIM), core emulator (CoreSIM) and network impairment emulator (Network Emulator II, Network Emulator 100G+) were used to verify functionality, compliance to O-RAN specifications and performance including a Xhaul transport network under real-world conditions. Keysight's Performance Benchmarking Solution (PBM) was used to orchestrate end-to-end tests across all KORA solutions for latency and throughput characterization of the fronthaul implementation. Collaborators: Intel, LIONS Technology, MiTAC Computing Technology Corp., Radisys and Wiwynn
- O-RAN End-to-End (E2E) – the combination of Keysight's UEE capabilities (UeSIM), test user equipment (Nemo Outdoor), core emulator (CoreSIM) and PBM were used to assess small and macro cells E2E performance, security and latency under load and stress test conditions. An over-the-air monitor (WaveJudge) was used to extend real-time visibility to disaggregated radio access, correlation and interaction between O-RAN protocol and 3GPP physical layers in wireless transmissions. Collaborators: Advantech, Alpha Networks Inc., Altiostar - A Rakuten Symphony Company, Compal Electronics, Inc., DZS, Foxconn, iConNext Co., Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), Inventec, LIONS Technology, Mavenir, NEC, Pegatron Corp., Quanta Cloud Technology, Sercomm Corp., Wiwynn and WNC
- O-RAN RIC - Keysight's RIC and xApps/rApps test solution (RICtest) was used for two scenarios.
- The first involved validating and testing near real time RIC and xApps interoperability and connections at scale using the latest O-RAN specifications. Collaborators: Intel, TIM
- The second showed the effectiveness of RIC-enabled closed loop RAN Slice Service Level Assurance. Keysight's RICtest was used to emulate the O-CU and O-DU nodes with dynamic network slice specific performance measurements reported for UEs, nodes, tracking areas and cells with varying levels of traffic simulated to several near real time RICs and Service Management and Orchestration (SMO). Collaborator: Juniper Networks
- O-RAN Cloud (O-Cloud) Platform - Keysight's virtual cloud infrastructure validation solution (Cloud Peak) was used in two test scenarios to benchmark the O-Cloud platform latency behavior, the storage scalability, and the isolation of resource intensive applications when multiple applications are simultaneously sharing the same container-orchestration system in an O-Cloud infrastructure. Test scenarios involved testing O-Cloud platform performance across the compute / network / storage resource dimensions and different generations of server hardware. Collaborator: Wind River
- O-RAN Security - Keysight's 3GPP Security Assurance Specification (SCAS) automated test suite using UEE (UeSIM) and core emulator (CoreSIM) were used to evaluate and assess the security requirements specific to the O-RAN system. Collaborator: Mavenir and Pegatron Corp.
- Xhaul Cell Site Router (CSR) and Hub Site Router (HSR) – the combination of Keysight's transport network testing solution (IxNetwork/Novus) and transport network impairment solution (Network Emulator II) were used to validate the transport network performance under real-world conditions. Collaborator: ADVA
Keysight's O-DU emulation solution (Open RAN Studio) and O-RU emulator capabilities (RuSIM) were added in another test scenario used to validate fronthaul traffic processing. Collaborator: IP Infusion
Supporting collaborator quotes can be found here: www.keysight.com/find/plugfest-quotes
About Keysight Technologies
Keysight delivers advanced design and validation solutions that help accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world. Keysight's dedication to speed and precision extends to software-driven insights and analytics that bring tomorrow's technology products to market faster across the development lifecycle, in design simulation, prototype validation, automated software testing, manufacturing analysis, and network performance optimization and visibility in enterprise, service provider and cloud environments. Our customers span the worldwide communications and industrial ecosystems, aerospace and defense, automotive, energy, semiconductor and general electronics markets. Keysight generated revenues of $4.9B in fiscal year 2021. For more information about Keysight Technologies (NYSE: KEYS), visit us at www.keysight.com.
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