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Rohde & Schwarz and VIAVI Solutions Jointly Offer O-RAN Radio Unit Conformance Test Solution

VIAVI Solutions | February 22, 2022

Rohde & Schwarz (R&S) and Viavi Solutions Inc. (VIAVI) announced they have partnered to offer an integrated solution for conformance testing of O-RAN Radio Units (O-RUs). The two companies, leaders in wireless communication test and active in specifications development in the O-RAN ALLIANCE, have combined their industry-leading capabilities. Central to the joint solution is the O-RU Test Manager which provides a seamless user experience. The solution will be demonstrated at MWC Barcelona 2022, February 28-March 3, at the Rohde & Schwarz Booth #5A80.

O-RAN is making radio access networks more open, disaggregated and flexible. Opening the network architecture can foster innovation, accommodate individual needs and enhance network efficiency. Therefore, O-RAN is experiencing rapid advancement and growth in the technology ecosystem. The O-RAN ALLIANCE includes over 300 service providers, vendors and research institutions, and the number of participants in O-RAN Global PlugFest 2021 doubled from the previous year.

Network disaggregation as in O-RAN brings new challenges in terms of interoperability between the network equipment of dif­ferent vendors. Fronthaul conformance tests, defined by the O-RAN ALLIANCE, ensure that the evolving O-RUs are interoperable with the O-RAN distributed unit (O-DU). The joint test solution already supported benchmarking and validation tests at multiple locations during PlugFests and will now be showcased at MWC Barcelona 2022. It includes:

  • The R&S SMW200A vector signal generator, R&S FSVA3000 signal and spectrum analyzer and the R&S VSE signal analysis software from Rohde & Schwarz, to emulate a real-world radio environment by generating, capturing and analyzing RF signals, extended for 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-RU Test Manager application, providing a single point of control for the integrated system, simplifying testcase workflow while allowing deeper data inspection and analysis as needed.

The number of companies involved in O-RAN continues to grow, including traditional network operators and network equipment manufacturers, as well as new vendors, system integrators, chipset developers, OTICs and other labs. This large ecosystem will benefit from a partnership of two industry leaders, including the long-standing experience in RF testing and high-performance test and measurement solutions from Rohde & Schwarz, and VIAVI's experience in network emulation, including demonstrator competency and CUSM plane generation."

Alexander Pabst, Vice President Market Segment Wireless Communications at Rohde & Schwarz

"Both VIAVI and R&S have collaborated with top service providers and vendors on rolling out previous generations of mobile technology, and our partnership delivers a best-of-breed approach with a unified customer experience," said Ian Langley, Vice President and General Manager, Wireless Business Unit, VIAVI. "As software and hardware become disaggregated in O-RAN, testing has proven invaluable in helping the industry identify and fix potential issues earlier in the development cycle, so the technology can move from lab to trial to live deployment."

At MWC Barcelona, R&S Stand #5A80, VIAVI and R&S will jointly demonstrate O-RAN WG4 fronthaul conformance testing. An O-RU Reference Design is validated by VIAVI's automated TM500 O-RU tester with R&S SMW200A vector signal generator, R&S FSVA3000 signal and spectrum analyzer and the R&S VSE signal analysis software.

About Rohde & Schwarz
The Rohde & Schwarz technology group is among the trailblazers when it comes to paving the way for a safer and connected world with its leading solutions in test & measurement, technology systems, and networks & cybersecurity. Founded more than 85 years ago, the group is a reliable partner for industry and government customers around the globe. On June 30, 2021, Rohde & Schwarz had around 13,000 employees worldwide. The independent group achieved a net revenue of EUR 2.28 billion in the 2020/2021 fiscal year (July to June). The company is headquartered in Munich, Germany.

About VIAVI
VIAVI is a global provider of network test, monitoring and assurance solutions for communications service providers, enterprises, network equipment manufacturers, government and avionics. We help these customers harness the power of instruments, automation, intelligence and virtualization to Command the network. VIAVI is also a leader in light management solutions for 3D sensing, anti-counterfeiting, consumer electronics, industrial, automotive, and defense applications.

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