In order to support the demanding requirements of 5G services, the telecommunications industry is exploring the opportunity to leverage virtualization into the different parts of the network. As part of this process, BT is conducting research to assess the impact of non-ideal fronthaul on virtualized Radio Access Networks (vRAN) which involves the use of iTrinegy Software Defined Test Network (SDTN) technology to create the required adverse network conditions.
The objective of O RAN is to move away from hardware-oriented networks and achieve softwarization and cloudification of networks through Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV). This approach means that while the antennae stay at the cell site, management of the network can be centralized through the cloud. The two main organizations working on Open RAN architecture are the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) and the O-RAN Alliance. The TIP community lab is hosted at BT Labs at Adastral Park, UK, BT’s global research and development headquarters. It is here that Farhad Mehran, Research Specialist and Richard MacKenzie, Principal Researcher at BT have been deploying iTrinegy Software Defined Test Networks to conduct their testing.
“Using iTrinegy’s NE-ONE Professional Network Emulator we can test different radio solutions and ascertain their tolerance to a range of different non-ideal fronthaul scenarios.”