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Testing & Integration

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North American OTIC in the Boston Area (Northeastern University)

General information:

Full name of OTIC: North American OTIC in the Boston Area (Northeastern University)

Correspondence address: Northeastern University – Burlington Campus Building 5 Room 250, 141 South Bedford St, Burlington, MA01803

Link to OTIC web site:

E-mail address:

The North American OTIC in the Boston area builds on testbeds and facilities hosted in the Open6G space of the Institute for the Wireless Internetof Things (WIoT) at Northeastern University, member of the O-RAN Alliance since 2020. It aims at providing testing capabilities for the  validation of end-to-end control logic, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) solutions for the design, development, and operations of open and programmable cellular networks. It adopts a system-level approach, providing testing components and services that can be used to deploy xApps and rApps and test them against different kinds of Radio Access Network (RAN) implementations (including commercial

and software-defined products), in emulated or over-the-air environments. The Open6G center is open to researchers in the wireless domain and already driving research and development in the Open RAN with several industry partners, national and international academic research labs, and government agencies. It combines:

  • Colosseum, the world’s largest wireless network emulator with hardware-in-the-loop, with 256 software-defined radios, more than 20 racks of compute, with programmable GPUs, FPGAs, and components to orchestrate and manage a multi-tenant experimental environment. Colosseum is already being used by more than 65 teams from different research institutions, and has already been successfully used to demonstrate closed-loop control for O-RAN with the OpenRAN Gym framework,  large scale data collection for training of AI/ML, hosts multiple 5G protocol stacks for RAN and core, and test a mix of commercial radios and emulated devices.
  • One of the four FCC Innovation Zone frameworks in the nation, which allows the lab to quickly obtain experimental licenses for overthe-air testing in the Northeastern University Innovation Campus in Burlington, MA, and in the main Boston, MA campus;
  • Multiple 5G RAN deployments and equipment, including softwarized and commercial RAN products, 5G UEs, core networks, a programmable 5G and O-RAN testbed with 10+ gNodeBs on the indoor Arena testbed, and testing equipment;
  • An outdoor UAV testing facility, to profile use cases related to drone mobility, and a large anechoic chamber to test radio devices in an interference-free environment.

The facilities are remotely accessible, thanks to a dedicated VPN, and it is possible to book resources through a portal and resource management system that will provide users with an unified access experience. The Open6G team has extensive experience with the development and testing of advanced O-RAN scenarios, having led government- and industry-funded projects in the area, training sessions at flagship IEEE conferences, and contributed papers, code, and tutorials to the O-RAN community. The team has also significant experience with 3GPP radio access technologies, and includes engineers who regularly contribute to open-source 3GPP LTE and NR implementations.


Name: Tommaso Melodia
Telephone number: +1(617) 373-3354
Responsibilities/ duties: Director of the Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things

Name: Michele Polese
Telephone number: +1(857)218-8712
Responsibilities/ duties: Principal research scientist


Northeastern University/Open6G

Supported work and scope of services:

The OTIC provides system-level testing and interoperability for end-to-end Open RAN system with physical and remote access. The team manages the lab and provides opportunities for integration of commercial hardware and software on top of state-of-the-art experimental facilities for emulation and over-the-air testing, also leveraging a streamlined framework to obtain experimental spectrum licenses. The lab is built on open-source frameworks and automation platforms that enable security, privacy, ease of deployment, and realistic, complex testing environments. The OTIC will enable testing of xApps and rApps, complete RIC systems, interface terminations for closed-loop RAN control, RIC-enabled use cases, spectrum sharing, among others, in a variety of different over-the-air and emulated wireless environments. The OTIC team includes engineers, researchers, and professionals who have significant experience in the O-RAN and 3GPP domains, for development, testing, and training, and will help OTIC clients quickly ramp up their activities in the OTIC.