NI, Radisys & CommScope collaborate on 28 GHz 5G NR InterOperability Device Testing

24 April 2019

NI Test UE Offering for 5G NR
NI Test UE Offering for 5G NR

National Instruments (NI), a provider of platform-based test & measurement systems, Radisys, a provider of open telecom solutions, & CommScope, a provider of communications networks infrastructure solutions, have collaborated to demo a 28 GHz 5G New Radio (NR) network at the Brooklyn 5G Summit.

This first public demonstration of the three companies’ collaboration shows a 28 GHz base station, or gNodeB, built from a CommScope remote radio unit (RRU), running software developed by Radisys, that communicates with an NI Test UE.

The 6th annual Brooklyn 5G Summit, held from April 23-26, 2019 in Brooklyn, New York, USA. Nokia and the NYU WIRELESS research center at NYU Tandon School of Engineering once again co-organised the event, which is one of the most pre-eminent conferences on 5G.

The Summit built on the themes of the past 5 years, with a focus on the ‘First year of the 5G era’. It was centered around an open conversation on the deployment experiences of 5G networks and a discussion of key issues, including critical spectral and economic factors. The latest innovations in all domains, including 5G New Radio, Core and IoT technologies and network slicing were covered, as well as, emerging technologies such as machine learning, Terahertz communication, non-terrestrial networks, ultra-reliable low latency and private networks.

Commercial rollout of sub-6 GHz 5G networks has begun, and mmWave technology continues to be developed, even as this rollout is underway. Research & development teams around the globe have been tackling the challenges that mmWave presents, and early versions of 28 GHz equipment are emerging. An important step in delivering this technology to market is helping to ensure that network equipment (gNodeB) and user equipment (UE) work together properly (commonly referred to as InterOperability Device Testing, IoDT), and that the technology can be used in a variety of scenarios, from inside a lab to outdoor field trials.

This demo showcases a 3GPP Release 15 non-standalone mmWave network created using equipment from multiple vendors. The above-6 GHz NI Test UE runs a physical layer designed by NI on NI's mmWave Transceiver System, and a mmWave software defined radio (SDR), with an upper layer stack provided by Radisys. The 5G NR Software Suite by Radisys enables the NI Test UE in mmWave frequency spectrum for non-standalone and standalone modes of operation. The gNodeB is built with a physical layer running on an Intel FlexRAN, an upper layer protocol stack provided by Radisys, and a remote radio unit (RRU), or antenna, from CommScope. A commercial LTE small cell is used as the LTE anchor. Combined, this system can make a live 5G NR mmWave call between the NI Test UE and the commercial 5G base station, made up of a CommScope RRU, Intel FlexRAN and Radisys protocol stack.

“We’re pleased to work with industry leaders NI and CommScope to power this important demonstration that showcases the industry’s first multivendor RAN ecosystem based on O-RAN compliant specifications, especially the F1 interface for CU – DU disaggregation, enabling mmWave 5G deployments for cases beyond just fixed wireless backhaul,” said Neeraj Patel, Vice President & General Manager of Software & Services at Radisys. “In addition to delivering a scalable Open RAN solution, Radisys also provided integration, test and validation services for end-to-end operationalisation of the complete system, from the UE to the gNB to the core network. We’re excited about the possibilities that 5G offers to our customers, and we’re committed to accelerating commercialisation of these successful trials.”

Farid Firouzbakht, CommScope Senior Vice President of RF products, said, “Our integrated antenna enables the full capabilities of 5G mmWave spectrum bands, while offering maximum flexibility within an open RAN environment. As a contributing member to the ORAN organisation, we endorse the benefits of an open baseband interface for enabling more innovation in the wireless marketplace.”

James Kimery, NI Director of Marketing for Wireless Research, said, “This demonstration validates NI’s hardware and software mmWave SDR platform by involving commercial vendors, CommScope and Radisys. This is one of the first end-to-end mmWave systems developed, and it clearly demonstrates multivendor interoperability that is critical to the wider 5G ecosystem.”

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