Testing O-RAN

Testing O-RAN

Opening virtualized networks with O-RAN demands suitable test and measurement solutions

With the technical evolution and motivation of Open RAN, radio access networks (RANs) are made open, disaggregated and intelligent. This technological evolution fosters future RAN to build on virtual network elements, white-box hardware and standardized interfaces. The O-RAN ALLIANCE defines new O-RAN interfaces complementary to 3GPP RAN interfaces and additional specifications, which are used by its members to integrate and test their implementations.

The O-RAN ALLIANCE suggests a double split between the centralized unit (CU) and the distributed unit (DU) as the high layer split (HLS) and defines the low-layer split (LLS) as a fronthaul interface between the O-DU and the radio unit (O-RU). It tackles aspects of user-, control-, management- and synchronization planes.

In collaboration with VIAVI Solutions, Rohde & Schwarz offers a comprehensive suite of O RAN development and conformance test solutions tailored to radio manufacturer needs. These solutions are particularly relevant for those planning to bid for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund (PWSCIF) Second Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO 2), which focuses on open radio commercialization and innovation.

Our solutions encompass the entire product lifecycle and adhere to the specifications set by TIP, 3GPP, O RAN Alliance Working Groups and TIFG. They are designed to help companies launch products on time and within budget. By combining VIAVI's expertise in protocol development and base station emulation with the extensive RF experience of Rohde & Schwarz, these solutions provide robust support for development and manufacturing teams.

Proven mobile communication test methods can be used to verify the quality of RF components, radios or the air interface and debug digital design as well as power management. Those are extended by specific O-RAN test methods. Innovative test solutions are needed when it comes to verifying the performance of infrastructure equipment during R&D and production.

Conformance testing is required to test the O-RAN fronthaul interface in addition to the 3GPP base station conformance of the O-RU subsystem.

When deploying an O-RAN network, network testing solutions are necessary to verify the interoperability, end-to-end performance and user experience of an O-RAN network. The nature of O-RAN disaggregation allows various possibilities to time synchronize the infrastructure components. Thus, time synchronization and verification guarantee proper time alignments.

Rohde & Schwarz competence for O-RAN testing
Rohde & Schwarz competence for O-RAN testing
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Rohde & Schwarz test solutions for Open RAN from design and conformance to production and end-to-end-testing

Rohde & Schwarz offers a wide product portfolio to ensure the performance of O-RAN equipment and networks. The industry-leading signal generation and analysis tools from Rohde & Schwarz are ideal for verifying the RF performance of radio network equipment from design to production, together with providing full test capabilities for 3GPP conformance testing.

The extended Rohde & Schwarz software features, combined with harmonized third-party O-DU emulation, provide an integrated and automated test setup for verifying O-RAN fronthaul conformance with ease.

The leading-edge portfolio further includes future-proof solutions for over-the-air (OTA) testing and beamforming. In addition, best-in-class oscilloscopes and power supplies ensure the overall performance of O-RAN equipment by verifying digital design and power management. The high-performance oscilloscopes are also best suited for verifying the pps time synchronization signal and for latency measurements. OTA network synchronization measurements are carried out with the 5G Site Testing Solution.

Rohde & Schwarz mobile network testing solutions cover O-RAN network testing through its lifecycle, from the initial engineering pre-operational stages in the lab to field trials, site testing and network performance tuning and troubleshooting during network rollout. When the O-RAN network is operational, end-user satisfaction is ensured through end-to-end quality benchmarking and monitoring.

Our Smart platform uses real smartphones (UEs) to benchmark service performance end-to-end with standardized QoE and QoS scoring methods. It also captures the functional performance of network access and mobility management procedures - key for the O-RAN interoperability. Our market-leading, high-performance RF scanner is used to characterize RF coverage and to measure interference robustness as well as the network synchronization integrity."

O-RAN fronthaul and 3GPP conformance test setup

O-RU test set-up

How to test an O-RAN system

How to test an O-RAN system

Related ressources on O-RAN

Poster: Open RAN network topology

Download this poster for an overview of the O-RAN disaggregated RAN architecture, the various lower layer split (LLS) options and the O-RAN fronthaul interface.

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App Card: Verify your O-RAN radio units

Learn how you can measure O-RU performance with the powerful test solution from Rohde & Schwarz in cooperation with VIAVI Solutions.

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O-RU energy efficiency testing

Video: O-RU energy efficiency testing

Watch this video and discover how the R&S NGP power supply units power the radio unit and monitor voltage and current statistics over time.

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AppCard: Verify the energy efficiency of your O-RAN radio units

O-RAN radio units (O-RU) contribute significantly to the high power consumption of 5G networks. Making O-RUs energy efficient without sacrificing O-RAN innovations is a top priority.
Read this application card to learn more.

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Case study: Mastering O-RAN radio unit (O-RU) testing

Learn all about how Kyrio found its perfect O-RAN conformance T&M solution from Rohde & Schwarz and VIAVI Solutions.

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Conformance test for O-RAN fronthaul from Rohde & Schwarz, VIAVI Solutions, and Analog Devices

Video: Conformance test for O-RAN fronthaul from Rohde & Schwarz, VIAVI Solutions, and Analog Devices

Watch a demonstration of O-RAN radio unit conformance test. Using a test setup from Rohde & Schwarz and VIAVI Solutions run tests conforming to O-RAN ALLIANCE specifications on an Analog Devices 8T8R radio reference platform.

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Video: O-RAN fronthaul conformance testing

O-RAN, with option 7-2 split, enables the disaggregation of Radio Access Networks. Rohde & Schwarz together with VIAVI enables O-RU verification by offering a complete test and automation system.

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Webinar: Open RAN – network performance in the lab and field

Get an overview of the O-RAN disaggregation aspects and learn how T&M can guarantee the successful deployment of an O-RAN network.

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A concise introduction to O-RAN technology

Video: A concise introduction to O-RAN technology

Discover the technology and test aspects of Open RAN radio access networks (O-RAN).

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Introduction to O-RAN radio unit testing

Video: Introduction to O-RAN radio unit testing

Learn how to verify the interoperability of your O-RAN network equipment.

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Products for O-RAN R&D and production testing

R&S®SMW200A vector signal generator

Advanced instrument for configuring and generating signals of high quality; supports O-RAN test case generation with option R&S SMW-K175.

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R&S®SMM100A vector signal generator

Redefining midrange with remarkably good RF characteristics over its entire frequency range up to mmWave: supports O-RAN test case generation with option R&S®SMW-K175.

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R&S®FSVA3000 signal and spectrum analyzer

Setting standards in RF performance and usability: Midrange analyzer with widest analysis bandwidth in its class.

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R&S®VSE vector signal explorer software

Software to analyze I/Q data of conformance test cases specified by O-RAN with option R&S®VSE K175.

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R&S®ATS1800C compact 3GPP-compliant OTA chamber for 5G NR mmWave signals

CATR based compact and mobile anechoic chamber for mmWave 5G OTA testing.

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R&S®PWC200 plane wave converter

Leading, small footprint solution to verify RF performance of massive MIMO devices.

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R&S®RTP oscilloscopes

Best-in-class high performance oscilloscope with bandwidths up to 16 GHz offering multidomain test, 5G MIMO capabilities and conducted time synchronization verification.

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Products for O-RAN end-to-end & interoperability testing

R&S®QualiPoc Android for smartphone based QoE/QoS testing

Powerful and flexible software for RF testing and service quality assessment; offers full set of service quality tests for voice, data and video together with complete air interface logging.

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R&S®TSMx6 RF scanner family

Advanced multiband and multi-technology RF scanners; decodes all channels in multiple technologies with market leading speed, sensitivity and frequency coverage.

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R&S®5G STS site testing solution

All-in-one portable tool - TSMA6 high speed RF scanner for passive measurements controlled by R&S®ROMES4 software or QualiPoc Android software and active end-to-end measurements executed by the QualiPoc Android smartphone.

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R&S®SmartAnalytics data analytics software

Powerful web-based analytics software that provides QoE and QoE focused insights and O-RAN network performance metrics.

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