Test and Measurement: Altiostar expands UK Open RAN lab

Altiostar said that it is expanding its flagship U.K. test lab, located in the London area, and it is hiring new staff to support expanded software development, customer support and testing for 4G and 5G Open Radio Access Network technologies.

The lab is set up for Remote Radio Unit (RRU) integration testing with Altiostar software, as well as certification with standards bodies and regulatory agencies. It was founded in 2012 and has typically hosted Altiostar customers for RRU testing. Altiostar said that going forward, the lab will be a “key location to support customer deployments taking place in the U.K.” Altiostar is working with O2, Telefonica’s operation in the United Kingdom, on Open RAN deployment and also working closely with O2’s system integrator, NEC. NEC set up an Open RAN Center of Excellence in the U.K. late last year, and Altiostar was among partners for that center of excellence.

“The Altiostar U.K. location has played a key role in the development and testing of new software features for all of our customers,” said Kana Muhunthan, Senior Director of Radio Product Development at Altiostar. “The growth of this office reflects the importance of open vRAN to the future of the mobile wireless industry. The U.K. is a great location for attracting developer talent and we are committed to continue to grow our presence in this region.”

In other test news:

-Wi-Fi company Edgewater Wireless is touting the results of large-scale proof-of-concept with an unnamed Tier 1 service provider. The PoC, which began in late 2020 and was completed in March of this year, involved a survey of 6 million devices in 750,000 homes and Edgewater said that it “clearly illustrated a need for spectrum slicing,” which is the company’s proprietary approach to dividing a spectrum band to increase the number of radios that can be supported in a given area. The results of the PoC, Edgewater said, “showed 7 to 18 times performance gains in 75% of homes surveyed. Edgewater said its top priority is “to move through the pilot stage, or physical test phase – working directly with the Tier 1 Service Provider to take Edgewater’s Spectrum Slicing product through further extensive lab testing.” It says it is also in conversations with other service providers on their own PoCs. Meanwhile, Edgewater says it is also lining up chip partners for the necessary volume that it will need to for production scale, with a timeline of 18-24 months to volume production of greater than five million units.

Viavi Solutions made a fourth offer to acquire EXFO this week — and it was promptly rejected by EXFO Chairman Germaine Lamonde, who is also the company’s founder and majority shareholder. We reached out to EXFO, but Lamonde declined to provide additional comment beyond his press releases in response to Viavi’s offers. You can catch up on the latest here.

COMSovereign, George Mason University in Virginia and Widelity announced a partnership this week focused on 5G research and development. Among the partners, COMSovereign will contribute 5G Standalone network equipment and support services, Widelity will pitch in with business and engineering services and George Mason will provide R&D and “concept development of 5G applications such as connected transport and smart infrastructure.”

“The collaboration is expected to accelerate advances in cybersecurity of 5G, implementation of 5G in smart communities and support the growing innovation ecosystem in the region,” the partners said in a release.

Keysight Technologies is expanding its software ecommerce options, adding new software bundles available to customers in North America and Europe. Keysight says it now has more than 300 test, application and design software packages, including its Pathwave offerings for vector signal analysis and signal generation.

“The new software bundles are priced to deliver significant up-front cost savings and continuous value to support a customer’s digital transformation initiatives,” said Nilesh Kamdar, software business and operations director at Keysight. “This allows customers to shift software budgets from CapEx to OpEx to improve cash flow, gain the flexibility to scale up or down as their business needs change and capture the highest value by keeping their software current and supported.”

GWS released a look at carrier 5G networks, ahead of its annual comprehensive network analysis; it pegged AT&T’s 5G network as having the highest levels of availability and reliability, while T-Mobile US’ network came out on top for speeds during network capacity stress tests. Read the full story here.

-Device-based network testing and analysis company Ookla has acquired testing company Solutelia and its Wireless Intelligence on-Demand (WINd) solutions, declaring that together the two companies will “disrupt and forever change the wireless network test and measurement industry.” Read more on that here.

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