Test & Measurement

Emulation software validates O-RAN compliant radio units

1st May 2020
Mick Elliott

Open RAN Studio from Keysight Technologies is said to be the first O-RAN distributed unit (O-DU) emulation software for validating O-RAN compliant radio units (O-RUs).

5G chipset and network equipment vendors, as well as mobile operators, are cost-effectively rolling out 5G services using 5G base stations from multiple network equipment manufacturers (NEMs).

Open RAN Studio software combines visibility, validation and performance test capabilities across radio frequency (RF) and protocol measurement domains, to accelerate development and integration of O-RAN compliant equipment.

Keysight's early engagement as the editor of the O-RAN fronthaul interface conformance test specification in the O-RAN Alliance is helping to speed development of conformance validation and verify interoperability between O-RUs and O-DUs.

O-RAN members also benefit from Keysight's cross-domain test and measurement expertise, in both digital and radio frequency (RF).

When combined, Keysight's Open RAN Studio and signal sources and analysers create a complete test environment, including 5G new radio (NR) modulation analysis.

"Keysight's Open RAN Studio enables a vibrant network infrastructure ecosystem to unlock the full potential of an open RAN architecture," said Giampaolo Tardioli, vice president of Keysight and general manager of Keysight's Network Access Group. "Our test suite for end-to-end performance verification of any 5G network element – from the physical layer to the application layer – accelerates the delivery of innovative connectivity services for both consumers and vertical industries."

Keysight partnered early with leaders in the wireless industry to showcase the first O-RAN 5G mmWave radio unit white box demonstration using open, interoperable interfaces at Mobile World Congress in 2019.

Developers of O-RAN radio units and system-on-a-chip (SOC) solutions, such as Xilinx and SOLiD, have realised the benefits of using Keysight's Open RAN Studio software.

"In this era of pervasive and connected intelligence, disaggregated network functions using O-RAN-compliant interfaces will help the industry realise the full potential of a virtualised network architecture," said Dan Mansur, vice president, marketing, Wired and Wireless Group, Xilinx. "Strong technology partners who are committed to driving rapid innovation, such as Keysight with the new Open RAN Studio O-DU emulation software, allows Xilinx to accelerate the deployment of our adaptive computing technology to create highly agile platforms that supports the stringent demands of 5G."

"SOLiD understands the significant role ubiquitous wireless coverage plays in keeping people connected and safe in a rapidly changing world," said Dr. Dae-Young Kim, executive vice president of Global Wireless Business Unit at SOLiD. "This is why we choose to partner with Keysight, a company with 5G test solutions that enable us to accelerate performance validation of SOLiD's O-RAN radio units."

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