Rohde & Schwarz and Viavi's O-RAN radio unit (O-RU) compliance testing solution

Rohde & Schwarz and Viavi present O-RAN test solution at Mobile World Congress 2022

  • Rohde & Schwarz and Viavi Solutions, both active in the development of specifications within the O-RAN Alliance, have collaborated to offer a solution for O-RAN radio unit (O-RU) compliance testing.
  • The proposed solution, based on the O-RU Test Manager, will be demonstrated at the Rohde & Schwarz booth at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona from February 28 to March 3, 2022.

O-RAN aims to make radio access networks more open, disaggregated and flexible. O-RAN (Open Radio Access Network) is a concept based on interoperability and standardization of wireless access network (WAN) elements, including a unified interconnect standard for transparent box hardware elements and open source software elements from different vendors. The O-RAN architecture incorporates a modular base station software stack for standard equipment that allows baseband and radio unit components from different vendors to work seamlessly together.

The openness of the network architecture can better address individual needs and improve network efficiency. The O-RAN Alliance brings together more than 300 service providers, equipment vendors and research institutes.

Network disaggregation as a result of the O-RAN concept poses new challenges in terms of interoperability between network equipment from different vendors. Fronthaul compliance testing, defined by the O-RAN Alliance, ensures the interoperability of evolving O-RAN radio units (O-RU) with the O-RAN distributed unit (O-DU).

The test solution, jointly offered by Rohde & Schwarz and Viavi Solutions, has already enabled benchmarking and validation tests. The solution presented at MWC 2022 includes:

– R&S SMW200A vector signal generator, R&S FSVA3000 signal and spectrum analyzer and R&S VSE signal analysis software from Rohde & Schwarz, to emulate a real radio environment by generating, capturing and analyzing RF signals, extended to O-RAN applications.

– The TM500 O-RU Tester from Viavi, implementing the O-RAN Distributed Unit (O-DU) side of the M-plane and C/U-plane functionality necessary to configure the interface with the O-RU and exchange of I/Q data over the Open Fronthaul.

– The O-RAN Radio Unit (O-RU) test management application, which provides a control point for the integrated system, simplifying the test case workflow while allowing for more in-depth inspection and analysis of data as needed.