The TeraVM 5G virtualized testing system from Viavi Solutions now supports load testing of the Open Central Unit (O-CU) according to O-RAN specifications. This capability follows the March 2020 launch of the industry-first Test Suite for O-RAN Specifications, which is already being deployed by Tier-1 operators and network equipment manufacturers.
As mobile data traffic continues to grow, and the O-CU becomes the first point of data aggregation, its ability to manage high volumes of traffic is critical for operators to meet 5G service promises. According to O-RAN specifications, the gNodeB is disaggregated into three distinct and standardized elements: the Open Radio Unit (O-RU), Open Distributed Unit (O-DU) and O-CU from potentially different manufacturers, with the F1 interface defining interactions between the O-DU and O-CU. Service providers and equipment manufacturers will need to validate that components work together and meet 5G performance requirements, so interoperability testing needs to be an essential part of any test strategy.
The TeraVM F1 Load Generator is compliant with the 3GPP F1 application protocol and capable of emulating hundreds of Gbps per hour, thousands of DUs and millions of devices for meaningful functional and load testing of the O-CU. Based on one of the first mobile network test platforms to harness the benefits of virtualization, the F1 Load Generator is a software-based test tool housed on x86 hardware. To increase flexibility and cover a wider set of customer use cases, additional optional elements of the test suite are available, including 5G Standalone/Non-Standalone Core Emulator for use cases where a real Core Network is absent, or X2 Core Tester for 5G NSA test use cases.