The Open Networking Foundation, AirHop, Facebook and Telecom Infra Project Demonstrate First O-RAN-Aligned, xApp-Powered Open RAN Solution
MENLO PARK, CA.,, April 26, 2021 / PRNewswire / – The Open Network Foundation (ONF), AirHop, Facebook and Telecom Infra Project (TIP) today announced the first demonstration of multi-provider radio access network (RAN) automation, in line with the O-RAN architecture, provided to operators provider flexibility to optimize the network. As part of ONF’s SD-RAN project, the collaboration supports a wide range of automation services in the form of software services called xApps from O-RAN that run on the intelligent RAN controller (RIC).
With today’s announcement, ONF, AirHop, Facebook, TIP and the wider SD-RAN community have integrated ONF’s SD-RAN RIC with AirHop’s xApp to demonstrate RAN automation. In addition, Facebook has contributed to software development (SDK) and xApp software aligned with the TIP – RAN Intelligence Automation (RIA) subgroup, a prioritized use case to connect the AirHop application to the SD-RAN RIC.
SD-RAN is based on the well-known ONOS architecture of ONF. In SD-RAN, the micro-based software architecture known as Micro-ONOS is a completely rethought, modern, cloud-based implementation of O-RAN close to real-time RIC and includes O-RAN-defined interfaces such as E2, O1, and A1.
Facebook’s SDK facilitates the development of xApps by exposing simplified APIs that adhere to O-RAN specifications. AirHop, Facebook and ONF are working with other partners and O-RAN to standardize APIs between the xApps and RIC platforms. With standard APIs, xApps and RIC platforms will be interoperable, promoting an expanded ecosystem of xApps and stimulating innovation.
AirHop uses the xApp-SDK to demonstrate the capabilities of a self-organizing network (SON), applying physical cell ID (PCI) collision and detection and confusion such as xApp. AirHop xApp maintains visibility of the entire state of the RAN network. When it detects any PCI conflicts, it sends all the necessary control commands through the E2 interface to resolve any issues in the affected cellular sites. See a video demonstration.
TIP-RIA is a subgroup within the TIP OpenRAN project group, which is focused on prioritizing the use of AI / ML through an ecosystem by leading operators and suppliers, including ONF and AirHop. TIP-RIA enables xApp providers such as AirHop to define, build, integrate, test and implement intelligent solutions that extend the programmability of Open RAN systems through platforms such as ONF RIC.
AirHop, Facebook and ONF have chosen to resolve the PCI conflict as the original xApp to test and verify an open xApp integration process. This successful integration shows how other more advanced uses and AI / ML techniques can be implemented as xApps, which run on micro-ONOS RIC. This is the first step towards the promise of a software-defined Open RAN, where xApps, RIC and RAN offerings from multiple vendors can interact – forming a broad ecosystem of innovative solutions. In collaboration with the wider SD-RAN community, AirHop, Facebook and ONF will continue to work on the implementation of more advanced scenarios.
“AirHop Communications, a leading network intelligence software company, uses open RAN and the xApp architecture to make our commercially proven near-real-time RAN optimization capabilities easily embraced by more mobile operators,” he said. Joe Tom, Vice President of Business Operations and Marketing, AirHop. “The support from Facebook and ONF, as well as the xApp-SDK component of the SD-RAN project, made the integration of our eSON product features as xApp with the µONOS-RIC platform direct. We will continue to provide additional eSON capabilities such as xApps, and plan to launch these xApps. “
“We believe that unlocking innovation in RAN through disaggregation can reduce costs and expand ubiquitous Internet connectivity,” he said. Vish Ponnampalam, Facebook Engineering Guide. “We are excited to continue working with ONF’s SD-RAN project to help accelerate solutions that will make it easier for operators to automate and optimize their networks.”
“We are delighted that we have so quickly demonstrated a true realization of various vendors, in which the advanced functionality of SON has been moved to xApp. This is just the beginning for vertically disaggregated RAN and we will soon be demonstrating additional SON and RRM features like xApps, “I said. Saurav Das, VP Engineering, ONF.
“TIP launched the RAN intelligence and automation subgroup through July 2020 with a view to creating an ecosystem of operators and providers to encourage further innovation to optimize Open RAN by deploying AI / ML-based applications on RIC platforms ” David Hutton, Chief Engineer for TIP. “We are pleased to work with ONF, AirHop and Facebook to provide a use case prioritized by TIP RIA.”
Find out more
To learn more about this work, the xApp framework and the entire SD-RAN project, please join the SD-RAN community for a live event at Techinar:
SD-RAN Techinar – Live
9:00 a.m. PDT
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Details of the latest version of SD-RAN (version 1.1) will be shared by the technical team and participants will have the opportunity to ask questions to the experts. Techinar is free and open to the public – register here.
Join the SD-RAN community
SD-RAN is a growing community that includes Aarna Networks, AirHop, Amdocs, AT&T, China Mobile, China Unicom, Cohere Technologies, Deutsche Telekom, Facebook, Far EasTone, GenXCom, Google, Intel, NTT Group, Parallel Wireless, Radisys and Sercomm . This group of forward-looking operators and suppliers are collaborating to implement leading Open RAN solutions in collaboration with both the O-RAN Alliance and the Telecom Infra Project (TIP).
New collaborators are always welcome. To learn more or join the community, please visit SD-RAN project.
For the Open Network Foundation:
The Open Network Foundation (ONF) is led by a consortium operator leading the destructive transformation of the network. Now a recognized leader in open source solutions for operators, ONF first launched in 2011 as a standard carrier of a software-defined network (SDN). Led by its operator partners AT&T, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Google, NTT Group and Türk Telekom, ONF is leading to a huge transformation in the operator’s space. For more information, visit http://www.opennetworking.org
SOURCE Open Network Foundation