Spirent Communications, on Monday announced successful deployment of first of its kind 5G Lab-as-a-Service for Nokia’s network infrastructure testing labs. The 5G Lab-as-a-Service (LaaS) enables unprecedented automation of 5G testing with a primary goal of significantly accelerating Nokia’s releases of virtual network functions and physical infrastructure. The 5G LaaS also streamlines the use of shared lab resources across teams and geographies, delivering dramatically improved efficiency and cost savings.
The Nokia facility in Oulu has been leading the initial deployment and has chosen Spirent Velocity as their LaaS platform. A unique feature of the 5G LaaS is a self-service portal, accessible by hundreds of simultaneous users across the globe. The portal also supports thousands of devices and tens of thousands of connections for both 5G and legacy infrastructure. Utilizing the portal, Nokia engineers can rapidly spin-up, tear down and reuse 5G hybrid test beds from anywhere in the world. Deployments of the 5G LaaS to additional Nokia facilities are already underway.
“Our goals for the 5G Lab as a Service include automation of 5G lifecycle testing and more efficient sharing of physical and virtual test resources across teams. Spirent’s automation expertise and Lab as a Service platform, Spirent Velocity, have been critical to our successful deployment in Oulu. We expect to achieve significant acceleration of 5G lifecycle tests along with a substantial reduction in test infrastructure costs as we deploy the 5G Lab as a Service throughout Nokia,” said Rauno Jokelainen, Vice President of Radio and Advanced Antennas at Nokia.
“We began our technology partnership with Nokia nearly two years ago. Our team of experts worked closely with Nokia to design the 5G Lab as a Service and its innovative self-service portal. Leveraging our Spirent Velocity platform, RESTful APIs and DevOps tool chaining, the 5G Lab as a Service significantly accelerates Nokia’s 5G product lifecycle while reducing CAPEX and OPEX,” said Patrick Johnson, general manager of Automation Platform Technology and Service Assurance at Spirent.
5G test automation requires integration of a complex mix of layer 1 optical and RF switches, layer 2 and virtual switches, power control units and test management software. The ability to select cables and create RF links between devices that comply with rigidly defined path attenuation requirements is essential. Furthermore, providing automated testing in the 5G LaaS model requires sophisticated functionality to reserve resources, spin up topologies and manage test environment changes. To support the 5G LaaS at Nokia, Spirent has deployed Spirent Velocity, a test orchestrator for hybrid virtual-physical lab environments, which maintains the full state of the lab and automates resource sharing among users.