Nokia has opened its first Open RAN (O-RAN) Collaboration and Testing Center at its offices in Dallas, which is designed to support the development of partnerships among O-RAN vendors that will help with the verification, introduction and launch of O-RAN compliant solutions to the market. The project is the latest effort by Nokia to support O-RAN, virtual RAN and edge cloud, according to Pasi Toivanen, Head of Edge Cloud at Nokia. The OEM plans to open similar facilities at its other global offices around the world in the future.
“Our new O-RAN Collaboration and Testing Center highlights our continued commitment towards O-RAN and the development of new solutions,” Toivanen said. “At our Dallas offices, we have created a collaborative and secure working environment that offers best-in-class facilities to help our partners achieve their goal.”
In particular, vendors will be able to execute interoperability tests (IOT) and end-to-end testing for Open Radio Unit/Open Distributed Unit (O-RU/O-DU) Open Fronthaul as well as xAPP testing for Nokia’s near-real-time RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC).
The O-RAN Collaboration and Testing Center provides a collaborative, open and impartial working environment to perform tests with the aim of launching O-RAN compliant solutions, according to Nokia, providing a venue to collaborate as well as validate different areas such as control, user, management, and synchronization plane compliance with O-RAN Alliance specifications. The short-term focus is on Open Fronthaul and near-real-time RIC expanding to other O-RAN interfaces in the near future.
“We create technology that helps the world act together,” Toivanen said. “As a trusted partner for critical networks, we are committed to innovation and technology leadership across mobile, fixed and cloud networks. We create value with intellectual property and long-term research, led by the award-winning Nokia Bell Labs.”
Open Testing and Integration Centers (OTIC) also exist in Berlin and Torino, Italy, to provide collaborative, open, and impartial working environments to support the adoption of O-RAN specifications and promote the openness of O-RAN ecosystem via demonstrations, community events (speakers, workshops and tutorials), a lab and field trials.
OTICs, which are vendor-independent, demonstrate implementations and solutions based on O-RAN specifications via plugfests and proofs of concept, while testing the conformity of RAN equipment to O-RAN interface specifications.