Test & Measurement

VIAVI extends O-RAN specification test suite

16th June 2020
Alex Lynn

Viavi Solutions has announced that the TeraVM 5G virtualised testing solution now supports load testing of the Open Central Unit (O-CU) according to O-RAN specifications. This capability follows the March 2020 launch of the industry-first Test Suite for O-RAN Specifications, which is already being deployed by Tier-1 operators and network equipment manufacturers.

As mobile data traffic continues to grow, and the O-CU becomes the first point of data aggregation, its ability to manage high volumes of traffic is critical for operators to meet 5G service promises. According to O-RAN specifications, the gNodeB is disaggregated into three distinct and standardised elements: the Open Radio Unit (O-RU), Open Distributed Unit (O-DU) and O-CU from potentially different manufacturers, with the F1 interface defining interactions between the O-DU and O-CU.

Service providers and equipment manufacturers will need to validate that components work together and meet 5G performance requirements, so interoperability testing needs to be an essential part of any test strategy.

The TeraVM F1 Load Generator is compliant with the 3GPP F1 application protocol and capable of emulating hundreds of Gbps per hour, thousands of DUs and millions of devices for meaningful functional and load testing of the O-CU. Based on one of the first mobile network test platforms to harness the benefits of virtualisation, the F1 Load Generator is a software-based test tool housed on x86 hardware. To increase flexibility and cover a wider set of customer use cases, additional optional elements of the test suite are available, including 5G Standalone/Non-Standalone Core Emulator for use cases where a real Core Network is absent, or X2 Core Tester for 5G NSA test use cases.

TeraVM enables network equipment manufacturers and service providers to efficiently test mobile RAN and core elements, validating that the equipment works according to 3GPP standards, interoperates with other 5G elements, and performs optimally when fully loaded with complex mobile traffic profiles. TeraVM is part of VIAVI’s Lab To Field network testing and assurance portfolio as well as its Test Suite for O-RAN Specifications.

“The industry roadmap to 5G open RAN has been accelerated, and manufacturers and service providers alike need standards-compliant testing capabilities now to ensure interoperability and performance,” said Ian Langley, Vice President and General Manager, Wireless Business, VIAVI. “VIAVI continues to reinforce its industry-first test suite for O-RAN capabilities with end-to-end, wraparound and now virtualised test solutions.”

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