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VIAVI & Broadcom to develop AI-based Digital Twins for telecom networks
Tue, 27th Feb 2024

Broadcom is collaborating with VIAVI to develop and examine AI-based 'Digital Twins' of telecommunication networks. 'Digital Twin' refers to creating a virtual representation of a real-world system to simulate various scenarios. In this case, the AI models will reflect telecom networks, offering advanced predictive capabilities and saving precious time and resources.

VIAVI Solutions announced the extension and enhancement of a joint Testbed as a Service (TBaaS) with VMware, a company recently bought by Broadcom. This collaboration combines the VIAVI TeraVM RIC Test with the VMware RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) to establish a Digital Twin for app evaluation and performance benchmarking.

Multiple app vendors and consortiums, including the i14y Lab, have validated the TBaaS, highlighting growing industry demand due to its quick and agile deployment capabilities. The innovative technology is set to be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the end of February.

Digital Twin modelling is swiftly becoming a crucial solution to strengthen complex networks by creating lab-based virtual models of these networks. These models enable service providers to simulate network behaviours and disruptions more efficiently. TBaaS facilitates a cloud-based Digital Twin using tools that assist communication service providers (CSPs) in evaluating rApps and xApps before partner selection, deployment, and secure network operation.

Through their collaboration, VIAVI and VMware offer RIC apps to cater to the need for simulations using authentic data. VIAVI provides geolocation intelligence, xApps/rApps, and live RAN data over the VMware RIC platform. The condensed data allows CSPs to emulate it among various apps, minimising resource-consuming data collection and transfer activities. Consequently, the RAN Scenario Generator attached to the TeraVM RIC Test lets developers and operators model scenarios in a controlled environment before launch or if large volumes of actual data are unavailable. The collected data can be used to train AI/ML models.

Lakshmi Mandyam, Vice President of Product Management and Partner Ecosystems at Broadcom's Software-Defined Edge Division, stated, "We're collaborating with VIAVI to ensure that CSPs benefit from test automation and enablement. By intertwining the VMware RIC with VIAVI's TeraVM RIC Test solution and providing it as a service, we are pioneering a fresh approach in RIC App development, CI/CD test automation, and benchmarking. Our combined efforts support CSPs in accelerating their network modernisation and monetisation plans."

Expressing his pleasure at continuing the partnership with VMware and now Broadcom, Ian Langley, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Wireless Business at VIAVI, highlighted both companies' shared history of innovation, collaboration and engineering excellence. He observed, "Our complementary portfolios are aimed at simplifying the intricate environments associated with Digital Twin. Together, they offer a multitude of benefits that aid in transforming and accelerating new network capabilities."

VMware concentrates on drawing and collaborating with various partners to help its operator customers confidently adopt Open RAN with its VMware Telco Cloud Platform and Service Management and Orchestration (SMO) framework for network optimisation. VIAVI boasts the most comprehensive portfolio of Open RAN test solutions in the industry and takes a leading role in defining test processes in the O-RAN ALLIANCE and Telecom Infra Project (TIP).