5G network speeds getting closer with new 5G LaaS
|Richard Harris in Mobile Tech Saturday, March 4, 2017|
5G network infrastructure testing lab successfully deployed by Spirent Communications.
Spirent and Nokia announced the 5G Lab-as-a-service (LaaS) - a new platform for Nokia’s Oulu-based network infrastructure testing labs.
The first of its kind, the 5G LaaS features a self-service portal - through which it allows for global accessibility to simultaneous users so Nokia engineers can rapidly spin–up, tear down and reuse 5G hybrid test beds from any location.
With this launch, the two companies aim to accelerate 5G lifecycle testing - for continual design innovation and eventual realization of this next-generation network.
The Nokia facility in Oulu has been leading the initial deployment and has chosen Spirent Velocity as their LaaS platform. A unique feature of the 5G LaaS is a self-service portal, accessible by hundreds of simultaneous users across the globe. The portal also supports thousands of devices and tens of thousands of connections for both 5G and legacy infrastructure. Utilizing the portal, Nokia engineers can rapidly spin-up, tear down and reuse 5G hybrid test beds from anywhere in the world. Deployments of the 5G LaaS to additional Nokia facilities are already underway.
“Our goals for the 5G Lab as a Service include automation of 5G lifecycle testing and more efficient sharing of physical and virtual test resources across teams,” said Rauno Jokelainen, Vice President of Radio and Advanced Antennas at Nokia. “Spirent’s automation expertise and Lab as a Service platform, Spirent Velocity, have been critical to our successful deployment in Oulu. We expect to achieve significant acceleration of 5G lifecycle tests along with a substantial reduction in test infrastructure costs as we deploy the 5G Lab as a Service throughout Nokia.”
5G test automation requires integration of a complex mix of layer 1 optical and RF switches, layer 2 and virtual switches, power control units and test management software. The ability to select cables and create RF links between devices that comply with rigidly defined path attenuation requirements is essential. Furthermore, providing automated testing in the 5G LaaS model requires sophisticated functionality to reserve resources, spin up topologies and manage test environment changes. To support the 5G LaaS at Nokia, Spirent has deployed Spirent Velocity, a test orchestrator for hybrid virtual-physical lab environments, which maintains the full state of the lab and automates resource sharing among users.