Enables detailed, end-to-end simulation of 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) optimized by O-RAN Near Real-Time RAN Intelligent Controller (Near-RT RIC) over E2. #pressrelease

October 11, 2022

2 Min Read

RICHARDSON, Texas and BOSTON – Researchers at the Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things (WIoT) at Northeastern University and Mavenir, Mobile Network Software Provider, are pleased to announce the public availability of ns-O-RAN (Open Radio Access Network Simulator), the first open-source platform for end-to-end simulation of 5G wireless networks driven and optimized by Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN) components.

The ns-O-RAN simulator integrates ns-3 with O-RAN-compliant features, including the E2 application protocol and service models, to interface with an O-RAN standards-compliant Near-RT RIC. This effort results from a collaboration between the Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things (WIoT) of Northeastern University and Mavenir, which is a member of the WIoT Industry Consortium and of the Open6G initiative led by WIoT. The ns-O-RAN simulator builds on the popular open-source network simulator ns-3, a functional end-to-end network simulator that simulates all the layers of the RAN protocol stack along with core network functions and mobile traffic applications, and its 5G module from the University of Padova and NYU, that facilitates the LTE-5G NR dual connectivity RAN protocol stack on ns-3.

ns-O-RAN has been designed and implemented to enable the integration of O-RAN software such as Mavenir's Near-RT RIC with large-scale 5G simulations based on 3GPP channel models and a detailed modeling of the full 3GPP RAN protocol stack. This allows data collection of RAN Key Performance Metrics (KPMs) at scale, in different simulated scenarios, and with different applications (e.g., multimedia streaming, web browsing, wireless virtual reality, etc). ns-O-RAN supports an O-RAN-compliant E2 interface and implements two E2 service models (E2SM), E2SM-Key Performance Metrics (KPM) monitoring and E2SM-RAN Control (RC), that enable a closed-loop control (for example, of traffic steering and mobility).

ns-O-RAN is part of a suite of tools for research on intelligent Open RAN systems developed by WIoT. Notably, ns-O-RAN extends the OpenRAN Gym framework to the simulation domain. OpenRAN Gym is a publicly available framework that combines large-scale experimental testbeds and software-defined RAN and O-RAN frameworks to enable end-to-end design and testing of data-driven xApps. It has been used to develop and demonstrate xApps for RAN slicing and spectrum management on publicly available experimental testbeds, including Colosseum and the Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) testbeds. OpenRAN Gym has also been used to show how intelligent xApps trained on wireless emulation platforms can be deployed on an over-the-air network without the need for re-training. Simulation with ns-O-RAN will provide another component to the OpenRAN Gym toolbox, further extending the data collection and xApp testing capabilities that are available to the wireless research community.

Read the full press release here.


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