Powder (the Platform for Open Wireless Data-driven Experimental Research) is testing an O-RAN 5G SA network deployment with millimeter Wave (mmWave) spectrum in Utah. POWDER is one of the O-RAN Alliance’s Open Testing and Integration Centers. #pressrelease

March 14, 2024

1 Min Read

WASHINGTON – The Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) Project Office announces a collaboration between PAWR platform POWDER and industry innovator Mavenir to test a first-of-its-kind O-RAN 5G SA network deployment with millimeter Wave (mmWave) spectrum. The solution is powered by Mavenir's open radio unit (O-RU), open distributed unit (O-DU), open centralized unit (O-CU), and 5G core. The team has successfully completed “first call” with the setup and is prepared to begin extensive testing and evaluation against a variety of user devices.

The Open RAN system is hosted on the POWDER testbed – part of the PAWR program created by the U.S. National Science Foundation – with the bulk of the footprint located on the University of Utah campus. User devices are distributed across campus and up to 5 kilometers away. Having deployed and integrated the Mavenir equipment and software, POWDER will now provide automated end-to-end testing with its Test Orchestration and Test Automation (TOTA) framework.

The collaboration is an example of POWDER fulfilling its charter to support U.S.-based wireless technology development. In the summer of 2023, POWDER was designated as an Open Testing and Integration Center (OTIC) by the O-RAN ALLIANCE. The platform continues to expand its commercial industry partnerships through its "BYOD testing model" and with spectrum access enabled by its Experimental Program and Innovation Zone licenses granted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

The PAWR program includes four testbeds across the country. In addition to POWDER, there is COSMOS in New York City; AERPAW in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina; and ARA in Ames, Iowa. The PAWR program also includes Colosseum, the world's largest radiofrequency emulator, located in Boston.

Read the full press release here.


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