Viavi Solutions Inc. (VIAVI) (NASDAQ: VIAV) today shared the company’s role in the Spring 2023 O-RAN PlugFest organized by the O-RAN ALLIANCE and hosted by industry leaders. The PlugFest involved a series of on-site demonstrations in North America, Europe and Asia, conducted in April and May. As the O-RAN ecosystem matures, testing has evolved from proving that the technology works to demonstrating that the industry can deliver robustly designed, secure network elements that meet the business demands of operators.
The contribution from VIAVI within the O-RAN ALLIANCE Spring PlugFest focused on three key areas to support this commercialization: conformance testing to ensure compliance; security testing to increase trust in the solutions; and RIC testing and training to enable AI/ML to boost RAN intelligence for cutting-edge use cases.
Conformance and end-to-end testing. Vendors offering new O-RAN products can present them to validate operation according to the applicable specifications. This activity supports expansion of the vendor ecosystem, a principal benefit of O-RAN. In addition to individual network elements such as O-RU, O-DU, O-CU and RIC, companies also demonstrated end-to-end operation and interoperability across a complete O-RAN. Vendors included Benetel, Capgemini, Compal, Inventec, Pegatron, Radisys, and multiple other companies.
Security testing. Network security must be protected in an open, multi-vendor environment. VIAVI, Pegatron and another vendor demonstrated security across the RAN by conducting several tests from Chapter 7 of the O-RAN TIFG E2E Specification, including the 3GPP Security Assurance Specification (SCAS) as well as Denial of Service (DoS). Also successfully tested were protocols and Open Fronthaul (OFH) security from O-RAN WG11 Security Test Specifications, including Transport Layer Security (TLS), Secure Shell Protocol (SSH), and OFH Authenticator and Supplicant Validation (802.1x EAP-TLS). VIAVI and Compal also conducted SCAS testing.
RIC testing for AI-enabled energy efficiency. When the conformance and performance of a RIC is verified, vendors can implement xApps or rApps to unlock RAN intelligence and deliver cutting-edge use cases such as energy savings and enhanced QoS. VIAVI and Capgemini demonstrated the end-to-end validation of the Capgemini AI-enabled Energy Savings rApp on the Capgemini RIC. VIAVI generated historical cell data to train the rApp AI/ML models, helping the AI/ML Energy Saving Model to learn and predict when to disable cells to reduce energy consumption.
The test platforms supporting these activities were:
VIAVI TM500, the industry’s leading UE emulator used by 85% of base station manufacturers, supporting conformance, performance, interoperability, security and end-to-end testing. For O-RU conformance testing, the TM500 O-RU Tester is used in combination with the R&S SMW200A or R&S SMM100A Vector Signal Generator (VSG), R&S FSV/A or R&S FSW Signal and Spectrum Analyzer (VSA) and R&S VSE signal analysis software from Rohde & Schwarz, with the VIAVI O-RU Test Manager providing a seamless user experience.
VIAVI TeraVM, a virtualized application emulation and security performance platform, used in security and end-to-end testing, and RIC testing and training. The TeraVM Cybersecurity Database is a library of over 55,000 threats, updated weekly.
“These demonstrations are pivotal in shaping the future of an open, multi-vendor environment that the telecommunication industry is swiftly evolving towards,” commented Ian Langley, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Wireless Business Unit, VIAVI. “We’re at the point in this evolution where we need to ensure solutions and ecosystems are ready for commercial usage, so that the promise of O-RAN can quickly become a reality.”
VIAVI (NASDAQ: VIAV) is a global provider of network test, monitoring and assurance solutions for communications service providers, hyperscalers, equipment manufacturers, enterprises, government and avionics. VIAVI is also a leader in light management technologies for 3D sensing, anti-counterfeiting, consumer electronics, industrial, automotive, government and aerospace applications. Together with our customers and partners we are United in Possibility, finding innovative ways to solve real-world problems. Learn more about VIAVI at www.viavisolutions.com. Follow us on VIAVI Perspectives, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.