A Full O-RAN Ecosystem Testing Portfolio, Courtesy of Spirent and Anritsu

By Alex Passett March 23, 2023

An Open Access Radio Network (O-RAN), per U.K. telco company Metaswitch, is aptly summed up as “a totally disaggregated approach to deploying mobile fronthaul and midhaul networks built entirely on cloud-native principles.” O-RAN, a nonproprietary version of Radio Access Network (RAN) systems, really is next-gen architecture, as it allows for interoperation between cellular networks provided by different vendors.

In general, it seems a solid future goal for O-RAN (per a basic rundown from Cisco (News - Alert)) is “for any hardware and software in the cellular network to interoperate both seamlessly and securely, regardless of its originating vendor.” Seamless and secure are definitely key terms here, as I wrote yesterday in news from Spirent about their O-RAN testing and assurance solutions for the kinds of networks and cybersecurity measures that businesses need.

So today, let’s once again cover Spirent; this time, Spirent (News - Alert) and semiconductor foundry company, Anritsu. As a global provider of communications test and measurement solutions, it’s fitting that Anritsu (News - Alert) and Spirent have announced a partnership.

Why? To present a full portfolio of O-RAN that is considered by many as unmatched in today’s market.

With this partnership, O-RAN component suppliers (i.e. of Radio Units, Central Units and Distributed Units, or RU, CU and DU, respectively), as well as system integrators and carriers, will benefit from a complete set of comprehensive O-RAN solutions, covering the full breadth of today’s testing needs.

Dave Garrison, Spirent’s Senior Director of Product Management for Lifecycle Service Assurance, explained more about why linking up with Anritsu is so sensical.

“See, in early O-RAN trials,” Garrison said, “performance gaps have already emerged. Challenges with deployment have ranged from lack of multi-vendor interoperability to inconsistent vendor-interfacing, new O-RAN vendor technology performance, and a surplus of security issues. That’s why we’re excited about this partnership with Anritsu; our collaboration ensures that expanded testing considerations are properly addressed before either O-RAN components, or an end-to-end system, is ready to go live.”

Spirent offers unique emulation of all nodes and interfaces required to communicate with real network elements and address real-time interoperability issues that may impede successful O-RAN adoptions. In turn, Anritsu offers hand-in-hand solutions for verification and conformance testing of O-RAN systems (i.e. a baseline requirement for market release), including a new RU test solution using advanced DU emulator tech.

As mentioned, the two companies go together like carrots and peas, like lamb and tuna fish, and even (dare we say), like “O” and “RAN.”

(Sorry, readers.)

But hey, don’t just take my word for it; in addition to Garrison and his own O-RAN excitement, there’s Fumihiko Uzawa, Solution Marketing Director in Anritsu’s IoT Test Solution Division.

“Anritsu has a long history of developing robust and reliable products with repeatable results,” Uzawa said. “So, we’re pleased to continue our legacy in the O-RAN ecosystem by partnering with Spirent and delivering accelerated solutions.”

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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