Mavenir demonstrates 5G ORAN interface

News

Network software provider Mavenir transmitted data traffic over an open radio access network (OpenRAN) interface in a 5G new radio (NR) network.

“The relevance of this demonstration is that the ORAN interface is a straightforward and robust interface to implement in 5G with standard commercial off-the-shelf equipment,” said Mikael Rylander, SVP and GM, RAN Business Unit, Mavenir.

The test took place at the recent official opening of the company’s Innovation Centre in Stockholm, which focuses on Mavenir’s open virtualised Radio Access Network (vRAN) development, as well as 5G and IoT innovation.

Off the shelf

A statement from Mavenir read, “The successful transmission of data at the physical layer demonstrated the implementation – in a 5G New Radio – of the ORAN split 7.2 open interface between a Distributed Unit (O-DU) and a simulated Remote Radio Unit (RRU or O-RU).”

In other words, 5G networks see a functional split between the baseband and the radio. 3GPP has discussed various options for how this could best be delivered, and the industry appears to be choosing option 7 plus option 2, referred to as the 7/2 or 7.2 split.*

Mavenir continued, “The DU was implemented on a x86-based architecture and a standard [commercial off-the-shelf] server and displayed maximum speed for the chosen transmission of 777Mbps.”

“This means we will be able to stimulate a full ecosystem of radio unit suppliers, which will inject new blood into the market and support the vision of OpenRAN [created within the Telecom Infra Project, initiated by Facebook] in transforming the mobile network economics,” said Rylander.

Survey findings

Separately, Mavenir announced the findings of its survey of 20 network operators regarding OpenRAN and carried out by Senza Fill.

The main results were:

•    100% of the operators are considering using OpenRAN in key scenarios;

•    43% of respondents are open to replacing their current vendors;

•    25% mentioned cost savings as a reason to consider multiple vendors;

•    84% of the operators will consider deploying remote radio units and baseband unit from different vendors in OpenRAN deployments; and

•    lower cost radios are a key driver for the adoption of the OpenRAN interface.

Mavenir has deployed what it says is the first, truly open OpenRAN in Brazil – defined as open software on open radio hardware, not a proprietary configuration.

* Read this article on Medium for more detailed information.