Industrial Electronics

Rohde & Schwarz and VIAVI jointly verify Analog Devices’ leading O-RU reference design at i14y Lab PlugFest Fall 2023

22 December 2023

Network disaggregation requires interoperability between Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) equipment provided by different vendors. O-RAN radio units (O-RUs) need to conform with both 3GPP standards and O-RAN specifications. Fronthaul conformance tests as defined by the O-RAN ALLIANCE verify the proper behavior of fronthaul interfaces and ensure that the O-RU designs are interoperable with the O-RAN distributed unit (O-DU).

Rohde & Schwarz and VIAVI Solutions are both leading in wireless communication testing and active in specifications development in the O-RAN ALLIANCE and 3GPP. Together they have developed an O-RAN conformance test solution supporting several Open Testing and Integration Centers (OTIC).

Typical setup for O-RU conformance testing, jointly developed by Rohde & Schwarz and VIAVI. Source: Rohde & SchwarzTypical setup for O-RU conformance testing, jointly developed by Rohde & Schwarz and VIAVI. Source: Rohde & Schwarz

O-RAN ALLIANCE Global PlugFests are periodic events organized to enable efficient progress of the O-RAN ecosystem through well-organized testing and integration. Vendors and providers come together to test, evaluate and verify their products and solutions. The O-RAN ALLIANCE Global PlugFest Fall 2023 was held in 16 labs across eight countries. One of these events was hosted at the i14y Lab in Berlin – supported by Deutsche Telekom and EANTC and i14y consortium partners. There, technology vendors like Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI) had the opportunity to verify the conformance of their platforms with test and measurement solutions from Rohde & Schwarz and VIAVI Solutions, amongst others.

To address multiple application scenarios, ADI has developed a particularly flexible O-RU reference design. The ADI Kerberos O-RU (ADRV9040-RD-RUMB) 8T8R O-RU reference design and development kit supports time division duplex (TDD) as well as frequency division duplex (FDD) modes up-to eight carriers (8CC) for all FR1 bands from 600 MHz up to 6 GHz. In addition, it includes a complete O-RAN Split 7.2 x both for 4G and 5G NR standards.

The setup used at the O-RAN PlugFest at the i14y Lab to validate ADI’s Kerberos O-RU consisted of the following test solutions:

• The R&S SMM100A vector signal generator and R&S FSVA3000 signal and spectrum analyzer from Rohde & Schwarz emulated a real-world radio environment by generating, capturing and analyzing radio frequency (RF) signals. For in-depth debugging R&S VSE vector signal explorer analysis software was used allowing to access detailed measurement results.

• The TM500 O-RU Tester from VIAVI Solutions has implemented the O-DU side of the M-plane and C/U-plane functionality, which was necessary for the configuration of the interface with the O-RU and to exchange I/Q data over the Open Fronthaul.

• The O-RU Test Manager application from VIAVI has provided a single point of control for the integrated system and has ensured a seamless, fully automated user experience throughout the test setup.

At the i14y Lab PlugFest, this test platform evaluated various facets of the ADI O-RU including its behavior, adherence to protocol standards, and compatibility with O-RAN ALLIANCE guidelines. This included the control and user plane (CU-Plane) for both FDD and TDD modes of operation. In addition, the setup supported test cases from 3GPP TS 38.141-1 Base Stations (BS) conducted conformance transceiver testing. The tests were executed under following conditions:

• TDD: RF: 1x100 MHz CC; SCS: 30 kHz; Frequency band: DL/UL at 3.8 GHz

• FDD: RF: 1x20 MHz CC; SCS: 15 kHz; Frequency band: DL 2.64203GHz and UL: 5.52203 GHz

Rohde & Schwarz helps to drive development, deployment and operation of Open RAN networks with its wide portfolio ranging from mobile network infrastructure equipment verification through conformance to mobile network testing and benchmarking.

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