Companies across the telecom ecosystem are rapidly adopting open and disaggregated products and solutions. This has led to a spike in Open RAN revenues (including O-RAN and OpenRAN radio and baseband), which have ‘crushed’ expectations in the first half of 2022 according to Dell’Oro Group.
With operators looking to ‘open up’ networks from the RAN to the core, and even the WLAN, they are urgently looking for more efficient ways to test and validate new technologies to accelerate deployments and return on investment.
In response, TIP launched the TIP Testing and Validation (T&V) Framework which allows operators and vendors alike to test and validate the growing range of open and disaggregated products and solutions, either independently or as part of broader network infrastructure. This 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.
The T&V framework is 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 program. The updated badging program assures operators that particular products, combinations, or solutions, whether from a single or multiple vendors, are ready for deployment.
Bronze, silver, and gold badges allow vendors to demonstrate varying product and solution maturity levels. Bronze badges demonstrate a vendor’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.
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.
Badged products and solutions are listed on the TIP Exchange, which showcases TIP-qualified products and solutions from the TIP community. This is effectively a bank of validated open and disaggregated solutions, and deployment illustrations are continuously updated with new listings – so far in 2022 over 90 badges have been awarded to TIP participants.
Dave Hutton, Chief Engineer at TIP said: “By introducing our badging program, TIP testing and validation blueprints for open and disaggregated equipment, solutions, vendors and use cases. 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.”