Calnex Empowers O-RAN Testing with NEO-ORAN-MERGE Feature

During the Spring O-RAN Plugfest 2024, Calnex collaborated with VVDN, ETRI, and our distributor Sonata in Korea to successfully conduct the O-RU S-plane conformance test at LGU+’s 5G innovation lab. The test was facilitated by our new software feature, NEO-ORAN-MERGE, which allows for the seamless merging of O-RAN M-, C-, and U-Plane data with S-Plane data generated by the Calnex Paragon-neo. This cutting-edge feature allowedeasy setup and executionof O-RAN O-RU S-plane conformance tests. By placing the Paragon-neo between an O-DU and O-RU, users can introduce noise patterns of PTP and SyncE to replicate real-world traffic scenarios. Paragon-neo’s S-Plane emulator can generate time and frequency errors of PTP and SyncE simultaneously, providing a more realistic testing environment. This setup allows for thorough validation of expected performance in real network conditions, enhancing confidence in O-RAN deployments. Furthermore, it’s important to note that these O-RAN recommended noise patterns are exclusive to Calnex Solutions. We adhere to industry standards, ensuring that noise levels at the input of the O-RU align with specifications outlined in G.8273.2 Appendix IX, G.8262, and G.8262.1 (see table 9 below). Whether it’s LLS-C2, LLS-C3, or LLS C1 configurations, our Paragon-neo solution delivers precise and reliable testing results. With NEO-ORAN-MERGE feature and our advanced noise pattern capabilities, Calnex is driving the evolution of O-RAN testing and setting new standards for excellence in the industry. Calnex remains at the forefront of O-RAN testing innovation, empowering customers with state-of-the-art solutions to accelerate their deployment timelines and ensure optimal network performance.

“S-Plane testing is a fundamental piece of the puzzle” – ORAN Alliance Spring Plugfest 2022”

S-Plane performance testing is essential to achieve O-RU certification The big news from the O-RAN Alliance Spring 2022 Plugfest in Taiwan was that the local OTIC lab has developed the first O-RAN certification for O-RUs worldwide. Auray OTIC and Security Lab, a third-party test and security lab based in Taoyuan, has generated standard procedures and processes for O-RU testing which enables official certification for vendors. In the announcement, the importance of S-Plane testing was highlighted as a mandatory requirement for O-RU certification. This is something that, working with Auray OTIC and Foxconn, Calnex recently explored as part of the ORAN Alliance Exhibition of virtual demos at MWC 22 in Shanghai covering ‘O-RAN S-Plane Conformance Test – Performance test of O-RU using ITU-T G.8275.1 Profile.’ Fronthaul Latency Testing- The Transport Layer Use Case Fronthaul network testing was also a topic in focus. O-RU and O-DU vendors were together looking at proving performance against the fronthaul latency tests as described in the O-RAN.TIFG.E2E-Test specification. This focus also introduced some of the fronthaul transport layer test cases as defined in the WG9.XTRP.TST document, such as Quality of Service testing with latency added, and Relative Time Error, TER, testing between two fronthaul switches using the LLS-C3 configuration. This was something we explored along with Auray OTIC and Pegatron as part of the ORAN Alliance Virtual Demo series looking at fronthaul E2E Test and the Impact of Fronthaul latency on DL/UL Peak Throughput. Fig.1 – Configuration LLS-C3. Gaining Validation through Real-World Latency Emulation – without the real life 10km cable A key discovery from this plugfest was finding that some vendors still rely on using a real 10 or 20km fibre to create the higher latencies required for testing under these conditions. The obvious challenges with using large fiber reels is that they are extremely big and cumbersome, but in addition they are also costly and may require signal amplifiers due to signal attenuation over distance. It is also very difficult to precisely adjust latency with reels of fiber, splicing the fiber on a regular basis is not very practical. However the recognition for the need for impairment testing on the Ethernet due to it being a shared medium, is great to see and it presented the opportunity to introduce network emulation as a method for gaining validation of the performance for the fronthaul. Using our network emulation product capability and expertise I was able share with the team how to create different latencies and other real-world conditions such as jitter and packet loss through software configuration quickly and repeatably, enabling the testing to become more practical and efficient, and most importantly providing validation that performance standards were being met.