Open Radio Access Networks (O-RAN)

Radio Access Network (RAN) takes the most significant chunk of the telecom operators' investment. With the 5G era, the number of New Radio (NR) sites will dramatically increase to fulfill 5G use cases' network requirements.

O-RAN technology enables a broader group of companies to participate in 5G by developing open standards, open interfaces, and open hardware to achieve the following:

  • Give operators a wider pool of suppliers and a set of tools to manage interoperability
  • Have innovative and flexible RAN architecture with a more vibrant ecosystem
  • Achieve network openness and leave the reliant on a single vendor


3 Main Challenges for Operators when Deploying O-RAN

Reach into the targeted growth and performance according to 5G use cases requirement, and maintain the network scale to meet rising data demands.

Who solves the problem when it appears and how? In the single-vendor legacy network, the operators can work with just one vendor to solve network issues. With O-RAN, when a problem arises, you must work with multiple vendors to resolve it.

Add two layers of interoperability challenges. The interoperability of multiple ecosystems as part of an Open RAN set-up. And secondly, the interaction with legacy 4G equipment in the network and how it responds to different UE environments.


Overcoming the O-RAN Challenges

Operators building disaggregated O-RAN networks need to invest in interoperability and performance testing themselves as no single vendor owns their systems anymore. Besides, they need to establish intensive test use cases with lab validation modules, field deployment, and network audits.

Additionally, continuous testing and validation of multiple scenarios is the only way to take the lead and ride the O-RAN technology wave. Therefore, operators need also to invest in automating the O-RAN testing activities for faster deployments.


EANTC Support Services for OpenRAN Adoption

EANTC provides the following services for telecom operators in O-RAN projects:

Trial PoC Tests

  • Validation of function, resilience, and protocol compliance testing for O-RAN interfaces
  • Holistic evaluation of multiple combinations and system level

Test Automation

  • Development of test automation suite for the trial PoC tests
  • Integration of automated suite into the CSP’s test environment

Field Acceptance Testing

  • Scale, performance, and integration with existing telco network end-to-end
  • Validation of user experience (UE) by emulating thousands of mobile devices across multiple cells and radio access technologies


EANTC O-RAN Test Areas

Below are key areas of EANTC O-RAN testing and validation:

  • Interoperability and O-RAN conformance of both O-RU and O-DU open interfaces
  • Interoperability and performance of the multi-vendor O-RU and O-DU
  • Interoperability and conformance via NETCONF protocol between O-RU/O-DU and the emulators in O-RAN Open Fronthaul M-Plane
  • Interoperability and conformance via PTP protocol between O-RU/O-DU and the emulators in O-RAN Open Fronthaul S-Plane
  • Interoperability and conformance via eCPRI protocol between O-RU/O-DU and the emulators in O-RAN Open Fronthaul C/U-Plane
  • Automation of end-to-end O-RAN performance testing
  • End-to-end O-RAN functionality, performance, manageability, and resiliency


Benefits of EANTC OpenRAN Testing Services

  • Verify seamless interoperability and QoE with the multi-vendor environment and new players in the market
  • Automate end-to-end testing activities to enable regression testing and DevOps
  • Evaluate vendor solutions and choose the fittest and most affordable ones based on facts
  • Better understand the market readiness and lead the vendor implementation based on the operator needs