Keysight Technologies, Inc., has, in collaboration with Telefonica, accomplished the first validation of an open radio access network (RAN) xHaul transport link, advancing development of transport networks based on the O-RAN specifications.
xHaul is a unified fronthaul and backhaul networking infrastructure. It creates a common packet-based transport network for flexible and software-defined reconfiguration of networking elements in a service-oriented unified management framework. Mobile operators, such as Telefonica, are implementing O-RAN compliant xHaul transport architectures to reconfigure and share the network quickly and cost-effectively, to streamline delivery of 5G services.
"Keysight's 5G test tools enable Telefonica Open Testing and Integration Centre (OTIC) to characterize xHaul transport links in accordance with O-RAN WG9 test specifications and advance its O-RAN xHaul interoperability test plans," said Scott Bryden, vice president, and general manager at Keysight. "Keysight's solutions for emulating real-life Ethernet traffic conditions enable verification of the functionality and reliability of O-RAN xHaul transport architecture."
The two companies have worked together at global Plugfests organized by the O-RAN ALLIANCE to verify integration of multi-vendor network functions and compliance to O-RAN specifications. At the 3rd Global O-RAN Plugfest in 2021, more than 40 vendors used Keysight Open RAN Architect (KORA) solutions to conduct rigorous testing under real-world conditions, critical to successful end-to-end integration of O-RAN equipment prior to live network deployment.
"By working together with Keysight, Telefonica is showcasing the company's commitment to deploying open networking solutions," said Jesus Folgueira, Transport, and IP senior manager at Telefonica. "Validation of the O-RAN xHaul transport link is critical to successful open RAN deployments."
The O-RAN xHaul transport link demonstration used the following Keysight 5G test tools:
- Novus – a high-speed, high-density Ethernet test solution with sufficient capacity to carry all port bandwidths, concurrently, at full capacity for complete performance assessment of wireline platforms.
- IxNetwork – generates Ethernet based traffic flows driven by realistic user applications and scenarios to test transport links and network functions within network functional virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN) architectures.
- Network Emulator II – a precision test instrument for accurately emulating network conditions such as added variable delay, latency, jitter and loss in a live production local area network (LAN) or a wide area network (WAN).