NTIA Announces 2023 5G Challenge Contestants

5G Challenge


Mar 9, 2023

CableLabs congratulates Capgemini, Fujitsu, GXC, Lions Technology, Mavenir, NewEdge Signal Systems and Radisys for being selected as contestants in the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) and Department of Defense's 5G Challenge. The competition is hosted by CableLabs, and contestants will compete for up to $7 million in cash and in-kind prizes. This group of participants was selected for their commitment and contributions to developing open and interoperable networks in the 5G ecosystem.

Like the 2022 5G Challenge, this year’s challenge will focus on testing interfaces among the Open RAN-specified subsystems and end-to-end integration, as well as testing handovers between different vendors.  The Challenge seeks to accelerate adoption of 5G open interfaces, interoperable subsystems and multi-vendor solutions by:

  • Utilizing existing standards for new providers
  • Encouraging modular product development
  • Reducing barriers to entry for new solution providers
  • Leveraging industry trends
  • Demonstrating multi vendor interoperability.

Awards will go to high-performing Open RAN solutions that showcase multi-vendor interoperability across radio, centralized and distributed units.

5G Challenge Host Lab Offers Cutting Edge Capabilities

For the second consecutive year, CableLabs will partner with its subsidiary Kyrio, the first O-RAN Alliance Open Testing and Integration Center (OTIC) in the Americas, to host the 5G Challenge. Our state-of-the-art 5G lab deploys fully virtualized 5G networks and mobile network technology expertise to ensure that testing meets NTIA/ITS’s goals with reliable, secure testing to industry standards.

As the host lab, CableLabs will perform wraparound emulation testing on each contestant subsystem individually and then end-to-end multi-vendor interoperability and performance testing. We’re including state-of-the-art testing systems from both Keysight and VIAVI to support the goals of the 2023 5G Challenge. Contestants will be challenged to integrate with fellow contestants’ subsystems and participate in multiple rounds of integration and performance testing—the primary thrust of this year’s challenge.

CableLabs developed the test plans in conjunction with the NTIA to focus on O-RAN Alliance and 3GPP conformance. Testing will involve multiple gNB configurations, which contain different Open RAN subsystems. The information gathered during the testing process will inform vendors, NTIA-ITS, the Department of Defense and the 5G ecosystem as a whole about the current state of the O-RAN vendor community. Stakeholders will also acquire valuable data about the benefits of interoperability and the potential for future innovations in 5G open systems and wireless networks.

As an added benefit, integration testing will include adherence to applicable O-RAN Alliance specifications. Challenge participants may receive a badge or certification from Kyrio under its OTIC lab authority.

CableLabs Technical Expertise

With our deep technical experience and wireless network expertise, CableLabs is uniquely positioned to provide support staff for the 5G Challenge. CableLabs and Kyrio staff will assist contestant teams to ensure complete and accurate testing and will provide technical analysis of each test to the NTIA-ITS.

We’re looking forward to meeting all the 2023 5G Challenge contestants at our 5G lab as we continue investing in the development of an open 5G ecosystem.