PAWR Announces 5G Open RAN Testing With Mavenir at POWDER Testbed

March 14, 2024, 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).

On left: Mavenir mmWave O-RU being deployed on the POWDER “Hospital Rooftop” location. On right: The view from the rooftop towards the Salt Lake valley where user devices are deployed.

“The POWDER team is excited to collaborate with Mavenir to test their O-RAN 5G mmW SA solution in an over-the-air setup on POWDER. This collaboration will also allow us to exercise the POWDER TOTA framework in a new configuration,” said Kobus Van der Merwe, Professor in the Kahlert School of Computing at the University of Utah and director of the POWDER platform.

BG Kumar, President of Mavenir’s Access Networks, Platforms and MDE said, “This is a significant milestone for Mavenir and the industry. We are proving that 5G mmW can deliver ultra-fast and reliable connectivity for various use cases such as enhanced mobile broadband, fixed wireless access, and smart cities. We are excited to showcase our end-to-end 5G mmW solution, which leverages our cloud-native software architecture and open interfaces, to enable operators to deploy and scale 5G networks with agility and efficiency.”

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.

For more information on POWDER, visit For more information on the PAWR program, visit,

Click here to read PAWR’s release on the topic.


About the PAWR Project Office (PPO):

The Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research Project Office (PPO) manages the $100 million public-private partnership and oversees the research platforms. The PPO is co-led by US Ignite and Northeastern University, and funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation and PAWR industry consortium. The PPO collaborates closely with the wireless research community, local communities, and industry, in part through the industry consortium, in the design, development, deployment, and initial operations of the research platforms.


About Mavenir:

Mavenir is building the future of networks today with cloud-native, AI-enabled solutions which are green by design, empowering operators to realize the benefits of 5G and achieve intelligent, automated, programmable networks. As the pioneer of Open RAN and a proven industry disruptor, Mavenir’s award-winning solutions are delivering automation and monetization across mobile networks globally, accelerating software network transformation for 300+ Communications Service Providers in over 120 countries, which serve more than 50% of the world’s subscribers. For more information, please visit


Mavenir PR Contact:
Emmanuela Spiteri

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