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Enabling The Open RAN Ecosystem

Open RAN is poised to transform telecom networks. Please comment.
The momentum behind Open RAN as a logical counterpart for 5G RAN disaggregation and innovation continues to build and there is a compelling need for end-to-end interoperability testing and performance validation that is necessary to advance Open RAN deployments.

As a preeminent Open RAN test company, VIAVI has spawned the development of an E2E Open RAN portfolio, encompassing robust device, antenna, and core test solutions that span the entire Open RAN lifecycle. This includes component level wrap around testing, vendor pairing evaluations to validate the function, performance, robustness and resilience of specific combinations, and protocol-compliance testing for open interfaces.

VIAVI is accelerating next-gen Open RAN networks through active participation in cross-functional forums across the telecom landscape.

Secure 5G and Open RAN systems may require additional security measures not yet fully addressed. Please comment.
5G networks are being developed and deployed globally faster than ever, and to avoid the increasingly complex threats, security must also evolve. As more and more CSPs choose to host their 5G core networks on the public cloud, having adequate security to account for the increase in entry points is crucial. When deploying 5G networks, whether NSA, SA, or based on O-RAN specifications, NEMs and CSPs need to ensure that the network is not just performing at maximum efficiency but is also highly secure.

Operators building disaggregated Open RAN networks will need to invest in multi-vendor testing, and require a comprehensive test suite with modules for lab validation, field deployment, and network assurance.

Whether it is Open RAN, network slicing, 5G Core or Edge, VIAVI offers an end-to-end portfolio, encompassing robust tests for all aspects of the 5G network and at all stages of the development process.

RIC is a critical piece of the Open RAN disaggregation strategy. Please elaborate along with the challenges in deploying RIC.
RAN intelligent controller (RIC) enables the optimization of RAN resources through near-real-time analytic processing and provides adaption recommendations. RIC enables interoperability across different hardware (O-RU, servers) and software (O-DU/O-CU) components in O-RAN architecture. RIC will become a key differentiator for mobile network operators to attract new customers by showing how their network is out-performing the competition with real statistics.

Complexities of deployment, technology immaturity, and integration with legacy systems are some of the key challenges. RIC vendors need a way to emulate RAN traffic scenarios in order to train xApps and rApps, which sit on the RIC. Once trained, these apps need to be tested to ensure their recommendations for RAN change do in fact improve the performance of the RAN. Operators, who will deploy RIC and xApps, need to perform rigorous testing in the lab environment, before costly network roll-outs to avoid troubleshooting problems, which could impact the quality of the end-user experience.

VIAVI is enabling vendors and operators to test the RIC and xApps/rApps, and in doing so, helping expedite the roll-out of Open RAN networks and architectures. VIAVI TeraVM emulates the RAN nodes and traffic scenarios to train the applications and validate their outputs before being trusted in a live network.

A phased, common approach to fiber testing is key. Please share Viavi’s plans to keep pace with this.
Fiber is important for 5G front-hauls, particularly for small-cell deployment, as it achieves the speed, latency, and bandwidth requirements. By using fiber in the front-haul and access networks, CSPs can significantly reduce the cost of backhaul, helping them generate higher revenues and improve overall quality of experience (QoE).

Fiber testing encompasses the processes, tools, and standards used to test fiber optic components, fiber links, and deployed fiber networks. The size and complexity of today’s fiber networks have highlighted the importance of robust fiber testing and monitoring, and the next generation of fiber optic test tools are faster, easy-to-use, and more powerful than ever before.

VIAVI’s fiber portfolio encompasses a full range of essential instruments, systems, and software, required to address today’s fastest-growing technologies and functional needs, providing end-to-end support for the construction, activation, monitoring, and maintenance of fiber optic services.

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