O-RAN ALLIANCE Awards Seed Funding to WIoT for Next Generation Open RAN Research Platforms
The O-RAN ALLIANCE has awarded the Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things (WIoT) at Northeastern University the first round of nGRG seed funding. This will support platforms for research and development of next-generation open Radio Access Network (RAN) infrastructure.
The WIoT team, led by Michele Polese with Tommaso Melodia, Salvatore D’Oro, Leonardo Bonati, and Pedram Johari, will develop an O-RAN digital twin platform based on the Colosseum network emulator, with the capability to automate end-to-end AI/ML development, integration, and testing. The main building blocks are shown in the figure below:
O-DT will be operationalized in the Open6G Northeastern University Open Testing & Integration Center (OTIC) in Burlington, MA, which hosts Colosseum, the world’s largest emulator of wireless systems. Colosseum, paired with the OpenRAN Gym open-source software suite developed at Northeastern, is the only fully-reconfigurable experimental platform existing to test at scale with Open RAN concepts. Colosseum is a testbed capable of emulating scenarios with tens of Software-defined Radios (SDRs) representing base stations, users, and other spectrum incumbents in a variety of Radio Frequency (RF) and traffic scenarios, already used by key Open RAN demonstrations and the OpenRAN Gym framework.
O-DT will configure Colosseum resources so that they can be automatically reserved and orchestrated as a DT for AI/ML testing in O-RAN, which includes the Service Management and Orchestration (SMO) and Non-real-time (Non-RT) RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) with rApps, the Near-real-time (Near-RT) RIC with xApps, and the capability of instantiating dApps—a real-time extension of xApps and rApps.
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