OpenAir-X Labs at Mobile World Congress Los Angeles

OpenAir-X Labs at Mobile World Congress Los Angeles

Biot, 21st October 2021 – The OpenAirInterface Software Alliance (OSA) from its base on the French Riviera is closely working with its partner, Northeastern University in the context of OpenAir-X Labs and jointly building and testing 5G stand alone radio access network stack. We are proudly showcasing several pieces of our work on-site at Mobile World Congress (MWC-Americas) in Los Angeles October 26-28 at the Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things (W-IoT) Booth 1444.

OpenAir-X Labs was launched in 2021 with the support of OSA, National Science Foundation (NSF) and Office of Under Secretary of Defense (OUSD R&E) as home of OAI activities in North America. Works at the OpenAir-X Labs are closely coordinated with the OSA team based at EURECOM in France. The OpenAir-X Labs platforms such as Colosseum and PAWR AERPAW are also used for continuous integration (CI/CD) geared towards testing the rapidly developing and evolving OAI software.

OSA works are organizationally divided into three project groups RAN, CORE NETWORK and MOSAIC5G that are sponsored by its strategic partners. Alongside the main task of developing the fully 3GPP compliant 5G radio open source stack, other ongoing projects in the RAN project group are CU-DU development and user plane acceleration, L2 simulator design including the nFAPI MAC-PHY split, offloading layer 1 functions as well as the fronthaul on hardware accelerator cards, and the development of the TTCN UE-test software defined by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). Similarly, the OAI team provides a 3GPP-compliant 5G SA core network through its CN project group while at the same time being a major contributor to the MAGMA Foundation’s Converged Core project. The MOSAIC5G project group provides FlexRIC and FlexCN agents to the community that allow for monitoring and the configuration management of the OAI gNB and CN respectively.

Several videos are being shown of recently released demos that leverage the OAI software. All these videos, while demonstrating a specific functionality, always run the end-to-end OAI stack including the OAI core network.

The first video shows an end-to-end deployment of OpenAirInterface (OAI) 5G Standalone network over Colosseum is one of these demos. Colosseum is a massive $20M wireless systems testbed developed by DARPA housed at Northeastern University. The demo uses OAI 5G soft gNodeB, OAI 5G soft UE, and Docker-based deployment of OAI 5G Core Network. The video shows the configuration and demo of OAI UE successfully registering with the OAI 5G CN, establishing a PDU session, and exchanging ping and dataplane traffic.

A second video shows a full stack demo of an OpenAirInterface cloud native 5G New Radio Standalone deployment on general purpose computing equipment and the Xilinx T1 accelerator card, which we use to offload the channel decoding. This architecture improves performance and energy efficiency in such deployments. The setup further uses a USRP N310 as a radio unit and a commercial UE from Quectel, allowing for an end-to-end demonstration of the offloading capabilities of the T1 card.

“The OSA is building a standards compliant and easy-to-use software for 5G use cases that is truly end-to-end in nature and includes a UE stack, gNB, the core network as well as an agile services platform”, said Irfan Ghauri, Director of Operations of the OSA. “We are excited to see that the OSA team is constantly approached by small and large teams from research labs as well as the industry to leverage OAI for their use-cases. By consequence, the number of projects that we are handling at the OSA is significant and growing and caters to these use-cases. Some of the projects shown here at MWC Americas LA are simple flavors of what the OAI community delivers.”

“We are proud to show, through these video demonstrations, the only open source end-to-end reference 5G-SA implementation available to the community who can henceforth develop additional features, build proof of concepts and improve system performance by adding real-time hardware acceleration”, added Abhimanyu Gosain, Founding Director at OpenAirX-Labs and Senior Director at Northeastern University.

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About the OpenAirInterface Software Alliance (OSA): The OSA was founded in 2014 by EURECOM, a research institute in the South of France. The Alliance manages and promotes OpenAirInterface (OAI) open source software that offers 4G and 5G as well as core network stacks. Recently, agile service platforms have also been introduced into the set of OSA’s offerings. The OAI software is used by many different organizations across the world for purposes of research and testing as well as for building blocks of systems for different 4G/5G use-cases, some of them industrial. Today, Facebook Connectivity, Fujitsu, InterDigital, Orange, PAWR, Qualcomm, Sequans Communications, and Xilinx are represented on the Board of Directors of the OSA as Strategic Members.

About the Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things at Northeastern University. The Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things (or WIoT) is home to world-leading expertise, facilities, and technologies dedicated to making 5G and 6G wireless communications faster, more energy efficient, and more secure. WIoT areas of focus include 5G and 6G, artificial intelligence, open, cloud-native programmable networks, terahertz and mmWave networks. WIoT is home to the Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) Project Office, which is co-led by nonprofit US Ignite and Northeastern University and OpenAirX-Labs, the North American home for OpenAirInterface Software Alliance.

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