5G connectivity promises to deliver unprecedented speed and reliability to consumers across the globe. With that comes stringent technical requirements. Timing, synchronization, and latency are significant issues that impede the progress of 5G on a global scale.
5G and 4G innovation are possible only if providers across the globe work together. To foster such collaboration, O-RAN Alliance — an international community of 300-plus operators, vendors, and research institutions operating in the Radio Access Network (RAN) industry — hosts the O-RAN Global PlugFests annually across multiple geographies.
During the PlugFests, vendors from across the world come together to test, demonstrate and verify their technology solutions. The event also allows for multi-vendor demonstrations showing
that different components from different vendors can work together for improved outcomes.
PlugFest 2021, held from October to December, was O-RAN’s third international event. Ninety-four companies participated, although many joined in from multiple venues, which accounted for 144 total corporate participants.
IP Infusion — a leading provider of carrier-grade disaggregated networking solutions for telecom and data communications operators — made its debut at the 2021 global O-RAN event, participating in four PlugFests. The venues (India, Taiwan, the United States and Europe) were hosted by Tier-1 Service Providers and Telecom Operators such as AT&T, Verizon, Telefonica and Bharti Airtel as well as the O-RAN lab in Taiwan – Auray Technologies. Partnering with other leading O-RAN vendors, IP Infusion was able to validate its Disaggregated Cell Site Gateway (DCSG) solution, earning the O-RAN Recognition Medal.
With over 20 years of experience in enterprise and carrier-grade software solutions, IP Infusion’s network disaggregation solutions reduce network costs, improve flexibility, and enable the rapid deployment of new features. IP Infusion’s OcNOS disaggregated network operating system is the first of its kind in the industry, with advanced capabilities designed to fit O-RAN specifications.
During its debut at PlugFest 2021, IP Infusion presented its DCSG solution for interoperability tests with vendors such as ASOCS, EXFO, Intel-Capgemini, Keysight, STL and Viavi.
By leveraging IP Infusion’s OcNOS and participating vendor solutions, IP Infusion validated its DCSG in a multi-vendor RAN environment. The testing showcased the expected DCSG functionality and services for the RAN. This included demonstrating transport support functionality using the high-performance IP DCSG box as the fronthaul switch and providing connectivity between the RUs and DUs in the fronthaul. Advanced services such as like L2VPN, L3VPN and segment routing were setup and the traffic performance was ensured using OcNOS’s extensive QoS capabilities.
The solution also showcased advanced synchronization and timing capabilities. The fronthaul switch acted as a Grand Master Clock for the tests, providing a high-accuracy timing source to all the RAN components. With its GNSS interface, the DCSG was able to connect to the GPS satellites and provide Grand Master timing capability. This eliminated the need to have an additional dedicated timing equipment in the fronthaul.
Not only did these tests verify the solution’s performance and scalability, but they also verified interoperability. This means DCSG can function seamlessly with multiple vendors, which will result in more robust 4G and 5G networks that follow O-RAN specifications.
In practice, IP Infusion’s timing solution shows that vendors don’t need separate hardware. It’s possible to keep all solutions in one place while ensuring reliability and performance. The results were a true win-win for IP Infusion and the industry partners.
“Our solution provides a critical transport link in the fronthaul application, and along with Keysight’s RAN components, it enables network operators to improve the efficiency of RAN deployments and operations,” says Atsushi Ogata, president and CEO of IP Infusion. “Working together with the O-RAN Alliance, we will create a competitive and vibrant RAN supplier ecosystem that delivers rapid innovation.”
As digital transformation continues to change our lives, connectivity will become even more critical. Events like O-RAN PlugFests ensure that vendors are collaborating so consumers can enjoy more reliable service on a global scale.
Through its participation in PlugFest 2021, IP Infusion found many use cases for its turnkey innovations. It was the first time IP Infusion participated in an event of this scale, but it proved its technologies meet the requirements for 5G connectivity.
Many vendors were so impressed with the results that IP Infusion formed new partnerships at PlugFest 2021, which will help even more clients replace their traditional solutions with a disaggregated product.
Please visit ipinfusion.com to find out more about its disaggregated network solutions.