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Collaboration to Provide Open RAN Ecosystem Test Solutions

Feb. 24, 2023
The joint effort will play a key role in helping equipment vendors, carriers, system integrators, cloud service providers, and others to configure an Open RAN ecosystem.

This article appeared in Microwaves & RF and has been published here with permission.

What you’ll learn:

  • The size and scope of the Open RAN 5G market.
  • Issues in Open RAN test procedures.
  • How this collaboration addresses these issues.

Advanced wireless connectivity is essential to the next generation of cloud-enabled functionality and communications. The devices and related infrastructures involved in the 5G deployment are actively moving from the computer screen to the production floor as they grow and expand our wireless ecosystems.

Thus, it's critical to fully develop the underlying network capabilities of the devices and support systems to achieve these goals, using the latest advances in available technologies. Telecom operators and vendors are working to migrate previously integrated network solutions and platforms into independent and interoperable hardware, middleware, operating systems, and software.

This will require ensuring the protocols and standards established are being properly applied. Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN) solutions use independent combinations of hardware and software, allowing for more flexibility, competition, and optimization in the wireless ecosystem.

In such an open system, it's vital to verify systems, guarantee performance, and manage complexity. One must ensure there are defined common interfaces between systems to reduce ecosystem complexity and accelerate 5G deployment.

According to MarketsandMarkets, the size of the global Open RAN market is expected to grow to a size of $15.6 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 70% over the forecast period (see figure). This evolving network will address the objectives of 5G, but must be properly verified and tested for compliance. These include establishing any product’s ability to meet timing requirements, for example, such as ITU-T G.8273.2 Class-C specifications. Vendors for Open RAN networks must validate interoperability in an established manner to ensure fundamental compliance with synchronization, control, and management functionality.

With the intent to help equipment vendors, carriers, system integrators, cloud service providers, and others to configure an Open RAN ecosystem, Anritsu formed a strategic partnership with Spirent Communications in Open RAN test solutions. The goal is to develop processes for measuring wireless RAN open radio unit (O-RU) characteristics, front-haul conformance tests, and end-to-end tests connecting O-DU, O-CU, and Core.

Specifying open standards for network interfaces can expand services and reduce costs, supporting multi-source equipment procurement. This will help drive growth and expand business opportunities.

Spirent Communications provides the simulation and emulation environment for network components and interfaces to solve Open RAN interconnectivity challenges.Anritsu offers its solutions for precision time synchronization and test equipment for O-RU TRx characteristics, as well as a new O-RU test solution combining O-DU and front-haul emulation. The collaboration will offer a comprehensive portfolio of solutions to serve both network and wireless testing for suppliers and carriers deploying Open RAN.

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