The 5G Challenge Announces Final Winners of the Preliminary Event – RAN Subsystem Interoperability Testing
NTIA’s Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS) is hosting the 5G Challenge in collaboration with the Department of Defense (DoD) to accelerate the adoption of open interfaces, interoperable components, and multi-vendor solutions.
The 5G Challenge Preliminary Event: RAN Subsystem Interoperability comprises the first of two 5G Challenge competitions. In this first-year event, NTIA/ITS offered a $3,000,000 prize purse to contestants who successfully integrated hardware and/or software solutions for one or more of these 5G network subsystems:
- Central Unit (CU)
- Distributed Unit (DU)
- Radio Unit (RU)
Stage Three Winners – Network Integration Prize
The goal of Stage Three was to integrate multiple vendor subsystems into an end-to-end network, which built upon the Stage Two results, where each contestant subsystem was evaluated separately in an emulated environment. The final Stage Three network successfully integrated subsystems from five different vendors: user equipment, radio unit (RU), distributed unit (DU), central unit (CU), and Core. In true plug-and-play fashion, contestants approached network integration with no prior experience interoperating with their fellow contestants’ subsystems. The 5G Challenge provided a rigorous five-week schedule for contestants to work through diverse issues, from 3GPP software options to discrepant hardware.
After evaluating Stage Three testing results, the 5G Challenge selected the following contestants to receive a Network Integration Prize of $250,000 each:
- CU: Capgemini Engineering
- DU: Radisys Corp.
- RU: Mavenir Systems, Inc.
Best Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) Prize
SBOMs facilitate improved security via vulnerability management by identifying dependencies, patch requirements, license requirements, and risk of cyberattack. 5G Contestant SBOMs were evaluated for completeness, intelligibility, depth of dependencies listed, disclosure of known unknowns, and compliance to SBOM format standards.
This prize considered SBOMs submitted by the five contestants who won Emulated Integration Prizes in Stage Two. Radisys Corp.’s win recognizes their comprehensive, informative, and high quality SBOM, which went above and beyond to report vulnerability and risk.
Stage Two Winners – Emulated Integration Prize
Before network integration, each contestant subsystem was evaluated independently with a wrap-around emulator and test harness. The contestant subsystems underwent testing to evaluate basic functionality and standards conformance. Stage Two challenged the contestants, host lab, and test software because 5G test software and some 5G interface specifications are still emerging.
After evaluating Stage Two testing results, the 5G Challenge selected the following contestants to receive an Emulated Integration Prize of $150,000 each:
- CU: Capgemini Engineering; Mavenir Systems, Inc.; Signal System Management
- DU: Radisys Corp.
- RU: Fujitsu Network Communications; Mavenir Systems, Inc.
Visit Challenge.gov to learn more about event details, rules, host lab capabilities, judging, and prizes!
5G Challenge in the News:
- NTIA: NTIA and Department of Defense Announce Final Winners of the 2022 5G Challenge
- Forbes: Boosting Domestic Production Of 5G Technology Is Important To Ensure Long Run U.S. Economic Primacy
- NTIA: NTIA’s Institute for Telecommunication Sciences and Department of Defense Select 5G Challenge Contestants from Final Entries (May 20, 2022)
- NTIA: NTIA’s Institute for Telecommunication Sciences and Department of Defense Select 5G Challenge Contestants from Early-Bird Entries (April 26, 2022)
- NTIA: NTIA’s Institute for Telecommunication Sciences and Department of Defense Launch 5G Challenge to Accelerate Development of Open 5G Ecosystem (April 6, 2022)
- Defense News: Pentagon launches 5G challenge with millions up for grabs (April 6, 2022)
- LightReading: NTIA puts up $3M for DoD's open 5G networks (April 6, 2022)
- RCR Wireless: NTIA, DoD launch 5G challenge to accelerate development of 5G (April 7, 2022)
- Federal News Network: DoD offering up to $3 million to help make 5G more compatible (April 8, 2022)
ITS, the Nation’s Spectrum and Communications Lab, supports the Department of Defense through a combination of its subject matter experts in 5G and its Boulder research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) laboratory infrastructure, including the Advanced Communications Test Site at the Table Mountain Radio Quiet Zone. ITS performed the engineering analysis of responses to the Notice of Inquiry that informed the creation of this Challenge.