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The Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) launched the OpenAirX-Labs (OAX) alongside a consortium of 35 leading wireless companies and associations. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), OAX will serve as the North American home for development, testing, and integration of the OpenAirInterface (OAI) Software Alliance's open source 5G standalone software stack.

"The launch of OAX puts muscle not only behind U.S. efforts to expand the capabilities and performance of 5G networks, but also behind the technologies that will move the wireless industry beyond 5G," said PAWR Technical Program Director Abhimanyu Gosain. "By hosting OAX as part of the PAWR program, we are also ensuring there is a clear path from software development through to testing and prototyping of new software, hardware, and wireless applications."

OAX will be based at the Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things at Northeastern University in Boston, mirroring a similar OAI test site at Eurecom in France. It will utilize a cloud-based Continuous Integration and Development (CI/CD) suite and offers a neutral, remotely accessible laboratory environment. 

Once the initial development and testing is complete, the open source 5G software will be set up as a new software profile on PAWR’s wireless test benches. At the moment, two test beds are already in operation — New York City and Salt Lake City — while another is being built in the Research Triangle area of ​​North Carolina.

"As a strong advocate for establishing a high quality reference architecture for the 3GPP 5G RAN and Core Network protocols, interfaces, and APIs, Qualcomm is excited to support the formation of OpenAirX-Labs," said Ed Tiedemann, SVP, Engineering at Qualcomm. "The mission of extending the Open Air Interface 5G stack implementation with additional features and O&M capabilities that are essential for US government 5G-related R&D projects is vital for maintaining and growing US government and academic research leadership in 5G (and beyond) technologies."

Qualcomm, Facebook, Interdigital, Radisys, and Xilinx are among the new lab’s corporate members. Moreover, in addition to the NSF, the US Department of Defence’s (DoD) research and engineering arm will also help fund the OAX research.

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