Showcases

 

Joint European O-RAN and TIP Plugfest 2020

 

Together with 27 participating vendors, EANTC planned, executed, and documented multi-vendor interoperability tests of O-RAN solutions on behalf of host operators Deutsche Telekom and Telecom Italia Mobile (TIM). The Plugfest, jointly organized by the O-RAN Alliance (O-RAN) and the Facebook-led Telecom Infra Project (TIP), was the first European multi-vendor initiative to support the development of interoperable 5G OpenRAN solutions.

In a massive effort of seven weeks of on-site and remote testing, we verified 12 multi-vendor pairings of O-RU and O-DU/O-CU solutions at Berlin and Torino OTIC labs. The tests focused on Open Fronthaul functionality and compliance, end-to-end (E2E) performance, and O1 management interoperability.

Together with Viavi Solutions, EANTC has automated E2E O-RAN tests at the Berlin OTIC lab.

O-RAN is an initiative to define and build 2G, 3G, and 4G RAN solutions based on general-purpose vendor-neutral hardware and software-defined technology. Open Test and Integration Centers (OTIC) are being established, focusing on interoperability validation and certification of O-RAN compliant solutions.

We defined two primary goals for the testing and integration in Berlin and Torino labs at the beginning of the project:

  • Multi-vendor verification of the performance, interoperability, and conformance testing
  • Proof of concept (POC) of remote interoperability testing of Non-Real-Time interfaces, e.g., Management Plane (M-Plane)

During the analysis phase of the project, we identified two additional value-added goals:

  • Automation testing of the elementary test cases
  • Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) integration via the Non-Real-Time M-Plane interface

Due to COVID-19, the integration and testing were done locally with remote support from the DUT vendors and the emulator providers. A big challenge was working remotely with this number of participants across multiple time zones (Europe, North America, and Asia). The test plan preparation, test setup clarification, lab integration design, and team coordination lasted almost two months. Because of the DUTs and the emulators' requested remote configuration, we established multiple remote access methods for each participant, e.g., IPsec tunnel, OpenVPN, and AnyDesk. To speed up the testing, we used numerous communication applications with our participants, e.g., Slack, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams. The onsite team did the local integration and testing with the vendors' remote support via remote access and communication application. Figure 1 provides the local architecture of integration and testing.

 



Technical Coverage

  • Interop validation of O-RAN compliant RU/DU solution
  • Validation of Open FrontHaul (RU/DU)
  • Support of Open Optical Packet Transport (OOPT) technology trials

Test Areas

  • M-Plane
  • S-Plane
  • C/U Plane

Planned Setups and Solution Types

  • O-RU and O-DU/O-CU end-to-end testing (real UE/emulated UE)
  • O-RU isolation with UE and O-DU/core emulation
  • O-DU/CU isolation with O-RU/core emulation

Test Areas and Related Specifications

  • Interoperability of Open Fronthaul (by WG4)
  • Performance (by TIP and TIFG)
  • Conformance (by WG4)
  • Automation (optional)