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How LFN Sister Project, O-RAN ALLIANCE, is Transforming the Radio Access Networks Industry

By November 3, 2020No Comments

(Portions of this post originally appeared on the O-RAN Alliance website and has been reprinted with permission.) 

The O-RAN Software Community (OSC), is a collaboration between the O-RAN Alliance and Linux Foundation with the mission to support the creation of software for the Radio Access Network (RAN). The RAN is the next challenge for the open source community. The O-RAN SC plans to leverage other LF network projects, while addressing the challenges in performance, scale, and 3GPP alignment.

As a sister project to the LFN, OSC provides integration points across LFN projects at the RAN. Specifically, the recent ONAP Frankfurt release, as part of its 5G Mobility blueprint for mobility standards harmonization, provides increased support for the O1 interface for fault, performance, and configuration management. Modification to  ONAP to be O-RAN compliant for FCAP implementation (configuration management, including intent based policy configuration, fault and performance data collection) will be usable by all the service providers, and avoids duplicate development effort.

Read below for more information on OSC’s Bronze release.

This summer, the O-RAN ALLIANCE has announced the “Bronze” release of open source software. This latest release of the O-RAN Software Community (OSC) delivers a significant advance towards an open software RAN that is aligned with the O-RAN ALLIANCE architecture and specifications.

The OSC’s focus is to provide software that delivers on O-RAN’s mission of Open and Intelligent Radio Access Networks. In the Bronze release the software continues to support projects that provide the key elements of the architecture and updates to align with the latest O-RAN specifications.

The architecture, software and documentation for the Bronze release can be found on the OSC website.

You can see some of the software in action by visiting the O-RAN Virtual Exhibition.

Major advancements to OSC projects in this release include O-DU, O-CU, Non-real-time Radio Intelligent Controller (A1), and OAM (O1). This was accomplished as a result of significant lines of code contributions from multiple companies including AT&T, CommScope, Ericsson, Highstreet Technologies, Institute of Computing Technologies (ICT), Intel, Nokia, Radisys, and Wind River.

Components of the OSC Bronze release

Use cases

Two end-to-end use cases were selected to drive the demonstration of functionality for Traffic Steering and Health Check.

  • Traffic Steering use case

    • Developed traffic steering and quality prediction xApps

    • Developed E2 data ingest pipeline from E2 simulator to perform traffic steering analytics

  • Health check use case call flows

    • Near-RT RIC self-check (partial)

    • O1 near-RT RIC health-check

    • A1 near-RT RIC health-check tested

O-DU

An initial O-DU framework has been created.

  • A E2 interface initialization and setup between O-DU High and near-RT RIC

  • Subscription request/response/indication message support for Traffic Steering use case

  • Integration between O-DU high and O-DU low (Initial)

Near-RT RIC

The Near-RT RIC now has support for the current E2 and A1 specifications:

  • RAN initiated E2 SETUP with E2 nodes compliant with O-RAN Work Group 3 E2 specification v1.0

  • Construction of xApp framework and a HelloWorld C++ xApp

  • Construction of Python framework for xApp developers

  • E2 setup failure handling (resiliency)

  • xApp onboarding

  • A1 Flow (Healthcheck #3) implemented and tested

Non-RT RIC

The initial release of an A1 policy manager and an A1 controller:

  • Construction of an A1 policy management service (Policy Agent)

  • Policy Management GUI and Control Panel to view A1 policies

  • Construction of A1 controller and controller APIs

  • A1 Flow implemented and tested

xAPP

The addition of several new xApps:

  • Construction of xApps for traffic steering (TX, QP, etc.)

  • Construction of MCxApp for measurement campaign

  • Construction of KPIMON xApp for ingesting E2 data and computing KPIs

OAM

Support for health check and O1 support and dashboards:

  • Health check O1 flow #2 implemented

  • SMO Deployment based on ONAP Frankfurt with ONAP-SDNC integration

DOC

  • Project/module specific documentation

INT

  • Partial CI/CD pipeline

  • Deployment artifact automation

If you would like to learn more about the O-RAN Software Community or get involved please visit https://www.o-ran.org/software.

Thank you to all the contributors to the O-RAN Software Community and our Linux Foundation partner. We look forward to continued growth and success in creating and promoting the next generation of the Radio Access Network.