O-RAN specifies using network emulators
O-RAN Alliance’s specifications (O-RAN.TIFG.E2E-Test.0-v03.00 and O-RAN.WG5.IOT.0-v05.00) specifically mention network emulators for effective testing.
Some of the test cases in O-RAN.TIFG.E2E-Test.0-v03.00 using impairment testing are:
- 5.11 Impact of fronthaul latency on downlink peak throughput
- 5.12 Impact of fronthaul latency on uplink peak throughput
- 5.13 Impact of mid-haul latency on downlink peak throughput
- 5.14 Impact of mid-haul latency on uplink peak throughput
These directly relate to latency testing of the Open Fronthaul interface between the O-RU to O-DU and the mid-haul interface between the O-DU and O-CU. These test cases determine the impact on network throughput as the network delay increases. The test system increases the network delay to find when the throughput drops to 30% of the peak throughput.
5G O-RAN impairment testing with E100 Chimera
Xena’s solution for impairment testing of 5G O-RAN networks is called E100 Chimera. Flexible, easy to use and cost-efficient, E100 Chimera is available as a stand-alone impairment tool or as a test module that integrates seamlessly with Xena Traffic Generators. This is a unique feature that lets you speed up your workflow by using the same test system to both generate and impair Ethernet traffic.
E100 Chimera supports true wire-speed impairment at 10, 25, 40, 50 and 100Gbps. It also provides the highest port density in the industry – up to 48 ports in one chassis. Plus it allows test engineers to reserve individual port-pairs without blocking access to other ports.
E100 Chimera makes it easy to add a broad range of impairments to incoming traffic to emulate various conditions. Each traffic flow is prioritized and processed in order of priority.
Also included with the E100 Chimera is a Command Line Interface (CLI) for automated scripting supporting multiple concurrent sessions. In addition to CLI, Xena OpenAutomation (XOA) provides native support for 5G O-RAN test cases, enabling easy integration into third party test systems or automated test environments.
E100 Chimera ideal for O-RAN test cases
E100 Chimera supports a broad range of 5G O-RAN test cases that can be automated for concurrent testing. The test system creates network impairments so test engineers can monitor how the network equipment or applications perform and respond. This can be used to test virtual functions, like CUs and DUs, and their performance under various conditions.