TIP believes the rapid adoption of open and disaggregated products and offerings across the telecom ecosystem has led to a spike in OpenRAN business, and with providers looking to “open up” networks from the RAN to the core, and even the wireless local area network (WLAN), they are urgently looking for more efficient ways to test and validate new technologies to accelerate deployments and return on investment, either independently or as part of broader network infrastructure.
The framework eliminates the need for extensive third-party integration or in-house testing, lowering the barriers to market entry and providing a significantly quicker route to market for innovation. It is said to be focused on validating TIP-defined use cases that reflect operator needs today.
As a result, use cases are defined and established by TIP project groups that work with stakeholders to establish the network requirements. This has led to the launch of TIP’s new badging programme, which is designed to ensure that particular products, combinations or services – whether from a single or multiple suppliers – are ready for deployment.
Different colours of tiers of engagement allow suppliers to demonstrate varying product and service maturity levels. Bronze badges demonstrate a supplier’s self-assessed compliance with TIP requirements, while silver involves increasing levels of testing. Gold badges, meanwhile, demonstrate full commercial validation based on TIP-defined test plans.
TIP added that badges can demonstrate validation for a specific use case, for example, low-density rural wireless or private network deployments, as defined by the relevant TIP project group. Silver and gold badges will give operators increasing assurance not just that the software will run efficiently, but that the combination of equipment will support a specific use case. So far in 2022, more than 90 badges have been awarded to TIP participants.
“By introducing our badging programme, TIP testing and validation blueprints for open and disaggregated equipment, solutions, vendors and use cases,” said TIP chief engineer Dave Hutto. “For smaller operators that can’t afford high-end validation and testing solutions, this can give them the confidence to deploy technology into live networks today. For larger operator groups, they can cross reference this broader validation framework against their own tests, to ensure the highest possible performance from their commercial networks.”
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Speaking alongside Eran Tal, Samira Naraghi, director of connectivity partnerships at Meta, stressed the importance of disaggregation for the social media giant.
“In my mind, the greatest impact that the tech community can drive hinges on the support from the operators to deploy OpenRAN and other projects that scale,” she said. “The core mission of this community is about driving adoption of disaggregated telco technologies at scale.
“I’m most excited about the metaverse network project that was launched last week with a great set of partners including Microsoft, Telefónica and TiVo [to drive] metaverse experiences.
“The fully immersive interactive experiences on AR glasses are a few years out, [but] there’s still a lot of opportunity for us to come together as a community and work on the challenges to take the path towards the metaverse,” said Naraghi.