At the recent i14y Lab Open RAN services and platforms PlugFest, which is part of the O-RAN ALLIANCE Global PlugFest Fall 2022, Rohde & Schwarz and VIAVI Solutions combined their industry-leading capabilities to provide a unified solution for compatibility testing of O- RAN Radio Units (O-RUs). With the automated testing solution, they were able to verify Analog Devices’ innovative 8T8R O-RU reference design and development kit according to O-RAN and 3GPP pre-conformance.
The Joint European O-RAN and TIP PlugFest Fall 2022 is organized by i14y Lab, an industry consortium that aims to accelerate network disaggregation and Open RAN by building a European and German ecosystem of vendors and system integrators. It is supported by Deutsche Telekom and European Advanced Network Test Center (EANTC). Technology vendors such as Analog Devices, Inc. had the opportunity to verify the compatibility of their platforms with test and measurement (T&M) solutions from Rohde & Schwarz and VIAVI Solutions among others.
A successful scenario is the automated verification of an O-RAN Radio Unit (O-RU). Network disaggregation brings new challenges because it requires interoperability between network equipment from different vendors. Emerging O-RUs must conform to both 3GPP and O-RAN standards. Fronthaul conformance tests, defined by the O-RAN ALLIANCE, ensure that the evolving O-RU designs can be used in the O-RAN distributed unit (O-DU).
To address multiple application scenarios, Analog Devices has developed a highly flexible O-RU reference design. The ADRV904x-RD-RUMB 8T8R O-RU reference design and development kit supports time division duplex (TDD) as well as frequency division duplex (FDD) modes and multiple bands including all FR1 frequencies from 600 MHz to 6 GHz, as well as It includes a complete O-RAN RU Split 7.2 x split for 4G & 5G NR standards.
Rohde & Schwarz and VIAVI Solutions are both leaders in wireless communication testing and are active in the specifications development of the O-RAN ALLIANCE and 3GPP. Together they developed an O-RAN conformance test solution used to support many Open Testing and Integration Centers (OTICs), and used at O-RAN PlugFest to validate Analog Devices’ O-RU reference design:
• The R&S SMM100A vector signal generator, R&S FSVA3000 signal and spectrum analyzer as well as the R&S VSE vector signal explorer analysis software from Rohde & Schwarz simulate a real-world radio environment by generating, capturing and analyzing the RF signal, extended for O- RAN applications.
• The TM500 O-RU Tester from VIAVI Solutions implements the O-DU part of the M-plane and C/U-plane functionality required for the configuration of the interface with the O-RU and the exchange of I/Q data over in Open Fronthaul.
• The O-RU Test Manager application from VIAVI provides a single point of control for the integrated system and ensures a seamless user experience throughout the test setup.
At the i14y Lab Open RAN PlugFest, this test platform verified Analog Devices’ O-RU reference design according to the O-RAN conformance test specifications defined by the open fronthaul interface workgroup WG4. It includes a control and user plane (CU-Plane) for FDD and TDD modes of operation. In addition, the setup supports test cases from 3GPP TS 38.141-1 Base Stations (BS) that perform transmitter compatibility testing.
With a broad portfolio from mobile network infrastructure equipment verification through conformance testing and mobile network benchmarking, Rohde & Schwarz helps drive the development, deployment and operation of Open RAN networks.
Alexander Pabst, Vice President of Market Segment Wireless Communications at Rohde & Schwarz, says: “Open RAN innovators like Analog Devices need powerful O-RU test solutions to verify smooth interworking of their designs on a disaggregated multi-vendor network. The i14y Lab in Berlin is a fruitful collaboration space for testing, harmonizing and validating Open RAN solutions. We are proud to be a consortium partner of the i14y Lab .Together with their partners they provide more flexibility, innovation, and choice for all players in the Open RAN industry.
Joe Barry, Vice President of Wireless Communications at Analog Devices, said: “By pre-testing Analog Devices’ O-RU reference design platforms for interoperability and O-RAN conformance standards using the Rohde & Schwarz and VIAVI test setup , our customers can accelerate their integration efforts with confidence. This will help reduce design cycles and significantly improve time to market.”
Stephen Hire, Vice President of Wireless Marketing at VIAVI, said: “Open RAN technology has already proven itself in greenfield deployments, but to achieve mainstream breakthroughs it needs to demonstrate its -flexible to accommodate a wide range of spectrum allocations and different mixes of 4G and 5g. Flexible designs like the new O-RU from Analog Devices help provide this. This more flexible designs require more test permutations. We are pleased to partner with Rohde & Schwarz and support Analog Devices and i14y to demonstrate how our automated platform can help customers effectively verify compliance with 3GPP specifications and O-RAN ALLIANCE.