Communication network concept

Benchmarking O-RAN Performance

Published: 20th May 2021

O-RAN was big news last year, and a recent announcement from the O-RAN Alliance – one of the main bodies encouraging open RAN innovation, highlights the importance of benchmarking and testing in helping operators and others develop and get value from Open RAN deployments.

Recently, the O-RAN Alliance launched a Minimal Viable Plan (MVP) to accelerate the delivery of essential O-RAN functions. This includes specifications for things such as:

  • Open hardware
  • Fronthaul
  • Cloud

It also includes guidelines for the formation of Open Testing and Integration Centers (OTICs), geared towards ensuring consistency and quality in O-RAN testing.

O-RAN is still in its relative infancy and there are multiple vendors involved in developing and deploying infrastructure. This means that testing and maintaining the resilience and performance of the entire network chain is crucial.

Validating O-RAN equipment

VIAVI has been enabling NEMs and operators to test and validate new O-RAN equipment and networks because there are varied customer requirements. In fact, we’ve used the O-RAN Alliance’s aforementioned OTIC labs to showcase a recent development and a major milestone in O-RAN testing. Together with the European Advanced Networking Test Center, VIAVI demonstrated automated E2E O-RAN tests.

Our leading position in testing new open RAN architectures has been achieved thanks to our history and expertise working with NEMs and operators and in defining benchmarks for how high-performance networks must operate. There is much scope to re-use benchmarking tests developed for 5G and 4G RAN that would benefit O-RAN benchmarking scenarios that involve 4G-5G interactions.

Further learning

NEMs can learn from previous experience, but O-RAN network testing challenges still remain. As part of VIAVI's ongoing work to enable the testing and evolution of networks, here is a new whitepaper on benchmarking O-RAN performance and simplifying testing.

Download Whitepaper

The whitepaper looks at:

  • The O-RAN ecosystem
  • Changes in the market, including virtualization and the need to incorporate new 3GPP features
  • How to understand the complexity of O-RAN networks
  • Measuring performance across the transport and application layer
  • Testing different customer requirements
  • Testing interaction with legacy technologies
  • Network disaggregation
  • Preserving and improving on KPIs
  • Methods of testing in the lab and so the importance of benchmarking.
  • Products for O-RAN testing
  • The importance of on-going testing

VIAVI has a history of supporting NEM and operator partners through decades of network and telecoms evolutions. We collaborate with leading O-RAN authorities and pioneering the most advanced test equipment. VIAVI are well suited to support operators because they understand how to get the most out of this next phase of network evolution.

MCS Test are the approved UK partner for Viavi
Content Source: VIAVI Perspectives 5G - Benchmarking O-RAN Performance (viavisolutions.com)

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