The O-RAN ALLIANCE has successfully conducted its O-RAN Global PlugFest 2021 to demonstrate the functionality and the multi-vendor interoperability of O-RAN based network equipment.
The O-RAN ALLIANCE is a world-wide community of more than 300 operators, vendors and research and academic institutions working in a transparent way to develop a sustainable open RAN ecosystem. 30 mobile network operators committed to O-RAN are serving over 4.5 Billion subscribers around the world.
O-RAN Global PlugFest 2021 – O-RAN’s third world-wide testing and integration event – demonstrated the strength of the O-RAN ecosystem and its global drive towards open and intelligent Radio Access Networks (RAN).
The O-RAN PlugFest expanded from 4 to 7 global venues, with 94 participating companies. Many of the companies contributed to multiple venues, bringing PlugFest to a total of 144 active corporate participants compared to 70 at the 2020 PlugFest.
Overall, O-RAN Global PlugFests bring a great opportunity for the industry to deal with integration challenges in an efficient way and to make major progress in development of commercial O-RAN products. This year’s Plugfest was not an exception, as demonstrated by the successes:
In Asia, the O-RAN Global PlugFest 2021 took place at four venues:
The PlugFest in Japan was hosted by NTT DOCOMO, KDDI, Rakuten Mobile, SoftBank and YRP in Tokyo area and Yokosuka.
1) Multi-vendor Interoperability Testing (IOT) at DOCOMO R&D Center (Yokosuka, Japan) with Fujitsu, NEC, Nokia and Samsung products using Open Fronthaul, both SA and NSA setup, on Sub6 GHz NR TDD:
2) Multi-vendor integration of vRAN with Fujitsu (vCU/vDU software and COTS server), NVIDIA (HW accelerator: GPU), Wind River (cloud platform) from the 5G Open RAN Ecosystem. Successful SA calls observed.
1) Rakuten Mobile Fronthaul verification in multi-vendor interoperability scenarios with NEC O-RU, Altiostar O-CU/O-DU and simulated core by NEC:
2) 3GPP RF conformance testing with Keysight Technologies and NEC.
3) Demonstration of rApp “Outage Impact Compensation” with RAN Optimization xApps working on latest O-RAN Software Community RIC stack, enabling RAN self-healing and optimization – with VIAVI Solutions and HCL.
1) Introduction of SoftBank’s private 5G (5G SA / indoor / virtualized) as the first use case for commercialization of O-RAN
2) Introduction of 5G mmW backhaul system development as SoftBank’s O-RAN new use case
3) Multi-Vendor 5G NSA 7-2x Open Fronthaul live commercial UE peak throughput demonstration with JMA Wireless fully virtualized XRAN baseband unit
1) Latency assurance with Near-RT RIC for E2E NW slicing. KDDI and Samsung have showcased a point of RIC method for latency assurance
NTT DOCOMO, Rakuten Mobile and YRP started studying 3GPP Conformance on O-RAN based Base Stations
In addition to the hosts, participants included Fujitsu, HCL, JMA Wireless, Keysight Technologies, NEC, Nokia, NVIDIA, Samsung, VIAVI Solutions and Wind River.
The O-RAN PlugFest in Republic of Korea was hosted by LG Uplus at its 5G Innovation Lab in LG Science Park, Seoul, for the first time in Korea. Activities focused on:
1) Open Fronthaul evaluation
2) Architecture and functional evaluation
Devices Under Test:
The testbed was also equipped with Intel x86 components for the COTS server. Keysight Technologies UE emulator, Core emulator, Test UE were applied to evaluate the E2E lab environment.
In addition to the host, participants included Altiostar, DZS, Intel, Keysight Technologies and NEC.
Activities at Taiwan-based O-RAN PlugFest in Auray OTIC and Security Lab & Chunghwa Telecom were performed by two hosts:
Auray, at their OTIC and Security lab in Taoyuan hosted multi-vendor interoperability testing for indoor scenario:
Chunghwa Telecom in Yangmei hosted Verification and Validation of multi-vendor O-RAN Architecture based end-to-end solutions:
In total there were 32 test cases.
In addition to the hosts, participants included Aethertek, Alpha Networks, Arcadyan, Calnex, Compal, Delta Electronics, Foxconn, iConNext, Institute for Information Industry, Intel, Inventec, IP Infusion, ITRI, JPC connectivity, Keysight Technologies, Lions Technology, Liteon, Metanoia Communications, MICAS, MiTAC, NKG, O'Prueba, Pegatron, QCT, Rohde & Schwarz, Sageran, Sercomm, VIAVI Solutions, Wiwynn and WNC.
The O-RAN PlugFest in India was hosted by Bharti Airtel at NOC Manesar in Gurgaon, Delhi.
The Demo/PoC Scenarios covered:
1) Near RT RIC Traffic steering use cases demonstration
2) O-RAN Physical Infrastructure Security threats detection and remediation
3) End-to-end testing according to O-RAN.TIFG.E2E.TEST spec v02.00
4) Open Fronthaul evaluation
In addition to the host, participants included AMI, ASOCS, Capgemini Engineering, Cisco, Intel, IP Infusion, Keysight Technologies, Mavenir, Sercomm, STL, TCS, VIAVI Solutions, VMware and VVDN.
The O-RAN Global PlugFest 2021 in Europe took place at two venues:
The O-RAN PlugFest hosted by Skoltech was hosted by Skoltech at its OpenRAN 5G Lab in Moscow. The activities focused on:
1) 3GPP 38.104 Tx/Rx compliance validation for O-RU
2) E2E ORAN Compliant 5G gNB integration with Commercial 5GC
In addition to the hosts, participants included Foxconn, Keysight Technologies and Xilinx.
BT, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica, TIM and Vodafone have teamed up together with the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) to host the Joint European O-RAN & TIP PlugFest at 4 European OTICs in Berlin, Madrid, Paris and Torino.
PlugFest activities were coordinated among the labs to complement the focus areas/scope, e.g. selecting different vendors (combinations), different O-RAN architecture components or interfaces.
Test and verification focus areas comprised:
1) O-RU conformance testing
2) E2E multi-vendor integration and performance/functional testing
3) Load/scale testing of O-CU
4) Security testing
5) Validation and demonstration of RIC and applications
6) Demonstration of multi-vendor O-RAN based architecture
7) O-cloud solutions
8) Demonstration of SMO based on O1
9) xHaul transport
In addition to the hosts, participants included Accelleran, ADVA, Advantech, AirHop Communications, Anritsu, Capgemini Engineering, Ciena, Cisco, Comba Network, Dell Technologies, DZS, EANTC, EXFO, Facebook, Foxconn, Fujitsu, Intel, IP Infusion, IS-Wireless, JMA Wireless, Juniper Networks, Keysight Technologies, Mavenir, MICAS, MTI, NEC, ONF, Precision OT, Radisys, Rohde & Schwarz, VIAVI Solutions, VMware, Wind River, Wiwynn and Xilinx.
In North America, the O-RAN Global PlugFest 2021 was hosted jointly by AT&T and Verizon, and brought together companies and academic institutions.
The Joint O-RAN, TIP, Linux Foundation PlugFest & Proofs of Concept were conducted in 3 labs in the USA: the NSF POWDER lab at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, the NSF COSMOS lab at Rutgers University in New Jersey, and the TIP Community Lab on the Facebook (META) campus in Menlo Park, California.
PlugFest activities focused on conformance testing and multi-vendor interoperability – 16 unique test combinations across 2 labs.
Proofs of Concept comprised:
In addition to the hosts, participants included Analog Devices, Anritsu, Calnex, Capgemini Engineering, Casa Systems, CIG, Commscope, Corning, Foxconn, Fujitsu, highstreet technologies, Intel, IP Infusion, JMA Wireless, Juniper Networks, Keysight Technologies, Mavenir, MTI, National Instruments, NEC, Radisys, Rohde & Schwarz, VIAVI Solutions, VVDN and Wind River.
The O-RAN ALLIANCE is preparing a PlugFest Virtual Showcase to allow interested public to explore the O-RAN Global PlugFest 2021 in detail – soon to be available at www.o-ran.org.
By O-RAN Testing and Integration Focus Group (TIFG) co-chairs:
Chao Kan (Reliance Jio),
Liao Linsheng (China Mobile),
Petr Jurcik (Deutsche Telekom), and
Ian Wong (VIAVI Solutions)