Viavi Solutions today announced that the company is part of three consortia that have won funding in the Open Networks Ecosystem (ONE) competition sponsored by the U.K. Department of Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT). VIAVI and partners submitted successful bids for HiPer-RAN led by University of Surrey, REACH led by University of York, and ARIANE led by Telecom Infra Project (TIP).
DSIT has awarded £88 million for organizations to develop a range of software and hardware products that will enable enhanced development and adoption of open and interoperable technology and demonstrate Open RAN technologies in high-demand environments.
VIAVI participated in the following winning bids:
- HiPer-RAN (Highly Intelligent, Highly Performing RAN) – Aims to develop a highly efficient, secure, and scalable Open RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) framework with conflict resolution capabilities between its intelligent modules, and the ability to withstand external malicious attacks. VIAVI will contribute to building the cyber security framework by developing an intelligent, resilient, and reliable solution defining non-real time and near-real time RIC-aware threat models, monitoring signals through the interfaces, and training the hybrid Intrusion Detection System (IDS) and Intrusion Prevention System (IPS). HiPer-RAN will also target the development of a flexible, RIC-aware, physical layer (PHY) that accounts for the O-RU and O-DU design parameters and processing capabilities to enable high-performance, energy efficient, and low latency operation at a system level. VIAVI will lead the work on integration, testing, deployment and trial of the entire HiPer-RAN solution for a number of scenarios and use cases.
- REACH (RIC-Enabled (CF-)mMIMO for HDD) – This project will tackle the challenges of a High Demand Density (HDD) network featuring small-cell technology, massive MIMO (mMIMO) and Cell-Free massive MIMO (CF mMIMO) applications by developing xApps and rApps for the RIC that can control small cell activation, power control, mMIMO beam deployment, CF-mMIMO RU control and signal shaping, heterogeneous cell structures, spectrum usage and energy efficiency, while dealing with mobility and handover management. VIAVI TeraVM RIC Test will support testing of xApps and rApps for mMIMO Apps, including traffic shaping, beam formation and energy efficiency.
- ARIANE (Accelerating RAN Intelligence Across Network Ecosystems) – This project will simulate a real-world multi-vendor Open RAN small-cell environment with multiple RICs and xApps/rApps, analyze and recommend opportunities for security hardening, measure impact on RAN performance in different test scenarios with multiple xApps and rApps, and offer learnings for standards development within O-RAN ALLIANCE. VIAVI TeraVM RIC Test will support multiple RICs to test xApps and rApps for energy management, traffic steering, advanced traffic steering and QoS-based dynamic resource allocation.
The ONE competition was part of the government’s Open Networks R&D Fund which delivers on the £250 million 5G Telecoms Supply Chain Diversification Strategy through a range of projects. These include the Future RAN Competition (FRANC), the Future Open Networks Research Challenge, as well as bodies such as SmartRAN Open Network Interoperability Centre (SONIC Labs), the UK Telecoms Innovation Network – with VIAVI contributing expertise or lab validation solutions to all of these initiatives.
“Whether you’re in a busy city centre or a rural village, a fast and reliable mobile connection is vital to staying in touch, accessing services and doing business. In order to secure that, we need to embrace a diverse and secure range of technology that will underpin the network,” said U.K. Minister for Data and Digital Infrastructure Sir John Whittingdale. “The projects we’re backing today with £88 million in government research and development investment will use innovative Open RAN solutions to make our mobile networks more adaptable and resilient, with future-proofed technology to support bringing lightning-fast connections across the country for many years to come.”
“VIAVI is proud to be a partner in the DSIT ONE flagship program for Open Network R&D in the U.K.,” said Ian Langley, Senior Vice President, Wireless Business Unit, VIAVI. “We look forward to working with our consortium partners to overcome network challenges such as HDD environments, AI conflict mitigation for x/rApps, RIC cybersecurity, RAN traffic management and energy efficiency, supported by the VIAVI U.K. Engineering R&D Centre of Excellence, based in Stevenage.”
The Open Networks Ecosystem (ONE)
The Open Networks Ecosystem (ONE) competition is part of the government’s £250 million 5G Telecoms Supply Chain Diversification Strategy, fostering telecoms R&D projects including Future RAN Competition (FRANC), Future Open Networks Research Challenge, and entities like SmartRAN Open Network Interoperability Centre (SONIC Labs), UK Telecoms Innovation Network, and UK Telecoms Lab.
ONE launched on 14 March 2023, offering organisations funding to develop software and hardware products for enhanced open and interoperable technology, including funding for demonstrations of Open RAN technologies in high-demand density environments.