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The Open 6G OTIC at Northeastern University Announces General Availability of Open RAN Testing and Integration Solutions

BOSTON, May 14, 2024 – The Open6G Open Testing and Integration Center (OTIC) at the Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things (WIoT) at Northeastern University announces the general availability of testing and integration solutions for Open RAN, including conformance, interoperability, and end-to-end testing based on the O-RAN ALLIANCE specifications. The Open6G OTIC supports the testing for performance and interoperability requirements that the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has highlighted as priorities in the Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund (PWSCIF) NOFO 2 on Open Radio Commercialization and Innovation.

“We are happy to announce that the Northeastern Open6G OTIC is open for business and can support leading Open RAN vendors in their radio and performance testing and integration efforts,” says Tommaso Melodia, Director of WIoT at Northeastern University. “In collaboration with our partners, we provide a unique environment for innovation and testing that supports industry, the federal government, and academia toward deploying open, programmable, and AI-native networks.”

The Open6G OTIC is a one-stop shop for Open RAN innovation. It serves as a hub for the development and testing of next-generation wireless networks utilizing Open RAN technology and Artificial Intelligence, offering a comprehensive range of testing services that facilitates compliance, interoperability, performance, and functional testing for Open RAN products. These services are accessible on state-of-the-art facilities, including RAN and RIC emulators and testers; private 5G RANs with programmable protocol stacks; and Colosseum – the Open RAN Digital Twin and the world’s largest wireless network emulator. The Open6G OTIC supports: end-to-end full stack testing, leveraging both emulated and real-world environments; Digital Twinning technology for virtualized testing, accurately replicating real-world conditions; network energy efficiency evaluation in Open RAN deployments; interoperability and conformance testing of disaggregated base stations and RICs across different RAN implementations; and massive MIMO radios testing, as a key enabler for improving the spectral efficiency of Open RAN.

The Open6G OTIC has deployed an end-to-end testing suite based on the Keysight Technologies Open RAN Architect (KORA) Network Emulation and 5G Multi-Band Vector Transceiver Base Station RF Test Solutions. This includes the Keysight Multi Transceiver RF Test Set (MTRX), Time Sync Analyzer for massive MIMO and MIMO radio unit (RU) conformance testing, and the UeSIMRuSIMDuSIMCuSIM, and CoreSIM solutions for O-RU, O-DU, O-CU conformance, interoperability and end-to-end testing orchestrated through the Keysight Atlas Test Management Center.

“This partnership underscores Keysight’s commitment to fostering O-RAN innovation and supporting industry and academia institutions such as Northeastern University to advance the Open RAN ecosystem with our world-class test solutions,” says Peng Cao, Vice President and General Manager at Keysight’s Wireless Test Group. “As an industry leader, we are pleased to contribute to Northeastern Open6G OTIC’s efforts in accelerating the Open RAN ecosystem by ensuring the reliability and performance of next-generation wireless networks.”

The Open6G OTIC has recently announced that it will perform interoperability and conformance testing of the US based AmpliTech Group’s O-RAN CAT B 64T64R MIMO Radio. This ongoing certification process includes an end-to-end demonstration with CU/DU provided by major 5G players in the industry. The Open6G OTIC also participates in the O-RAN ALLIANCE Joint North American Plugfest, with activities involving the testing of the NVIDIA ARC-OTA 5G stack. Automation is another key element in the Open6G OTIC solutions: we are integrating the testing equipment in a fully automated framework, where the testing and integration solutions will be driven by a set of continuous integration (CI), continuous deployment (CD), and continuous testing (CT) pipelines that streamline the testing effort.


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