Viavi accelerates 5G Open-RAN testing at the AWS Outposts edge

In a move that the network test and monitoring firm says marks the industry’s first Central Unit (O-CU) test solution compatible with O-RAN standards deployed on Amazon Web Services Managed Services (AMS) at the network edge, Viavi Solutions has announced the availability of the TeraVM O-CU Tester on AWS Outposts.

Explaining the reason for its move, Viavi said that as 5G services take advantage of edge computing, the ability to validate application and infrastructure performance at any point in the network has become essential to ensuring quality of experience.

Noting that 5G had by December 2020 clocked up 229 million subscribers, Viavi joined forces with Open RAN technology provider Mavenir in January 2021 to help optimise its advanced radio access systems with lab validation of radio access technology for US mobile network operators (MNOs).

Viavi added that as suppliers across the industry develop open, cloud-native and disaggregated architectures, testing against user expectations of service quality would be critical to accelerate adoption at scale, and predicted that its work with Mavenir would validate a new SD, cloud-native RAN infrastructure.

Moreover, it said that to monetise 5G investments, service providers, device manufacturers and application developers are striving for new paradigms in user experiences.

It argued that real-time, multi-player games, smart cities, autonomous cars and remote healthcare all require ultra-low latencies, which ultimately can be enabled by 5G ultra reliable low latency communication (URLLC) and multi-access edge computing (MEC). In parallel, operators worldwide are adopting open radio access networks to reduce infrastructure costs and lower the barrier to entry for new product innovation.

It is to also address this emerging domain that Viavi has deployed the TeraVM O-CU Tester on AWS Outposts, claiming that within the architecture of disaggregated networks, the O-CU will be a critical resource as the first point in the uplink from users, where large amounts of traffic converge and need to be handled efficiently to meet performance expectations.

The O-CU Tester – part of the TeraVM family of fully virtualised and cloud-enabled network and application test solutions – is designed to validate that the O-CU works according to 3GPP standards and O-RAN C-plane and U-plane profiles; interoperates with other 5G and O-RAN network functions and components; and performs optimally when fully loaded with complex mobile traffic profiles.

“Our major customers are embracing the power of the cloud and 5G, unleashing rich applications for consumers, businesses and cities,” said Ian Langley, vice-president and general manager of the wireless business unit at Viavi. “We’re pleased to work alongside them to validate application performance at any point in the network and welcome the collaboration with AWS.”

AWS Outposts is a fully managed service that offers the same AWS infrastructure, AWS services, APIs, and tools to virtually any datacentre, co-location space or on-premise facility for a consistent hybrid experience.

In April 2021, AWS entered into a partnership with US operator DISH Network to transform how organisations order and consume 5G services or create their own private 5G networks.

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