Everything you need to know about the DARTs tool

The SCF DARTs – Disaggregated RAN Transport study – tool is an industry first, a means of precisely identifying the optimal split for RAN options.

It is also a great example of SCF’s practical stance, where we focus on identifying the challenges our members are facing today and developing pragmatic tools and solutions to help navigate those challenges. 

At the end of November we looked under the hood of the tool in a webinar hosted by Julius Robson from Real Wireless and the former SCF Chief Strategy Officer, with live demos from Vikas Dixit, Reliance Jio and the SCF Work Item Lead for DARTs. 

The webinar covered a range of important topics: 

  • Possible RAN splits, the proliferation of choice that now provides and some of the factors including your choice of RAN split, from the cost space, power or compute at a cell site versus a data centre, to the cost of transport between sites and how throughput is impacted by the cell site air interface configuration 
  • The role of DARTs in helping to optimize the distribution of RAN functions, particularly in complex deployment scenarios such as neutrally hosted open RAN frameworks or even extreme deployment examples such as satellite regenerative payloads for non-terrestrial networks 
  • Live demonstrations were provided of both the public web-based tool – available to everyone – and the full tool with greatly enhanced customization – available to SCF members only, with comparisons of the two versions. For instance, over 20 parameters are identified as influencing the transport bandwidth between the various splits. The web-based version uses primarily default values whereas in the full version, all those parameters can be changed 
  • How the tool is kept current and aligns with 3GPP 

The recording of the public part of the webinar – available to SCF and non-SCF members – is available here.  

Access to the full DARTs tool is a key benefit of SCF membership and its ongoing development is of course a priority. We are pleased to share details today therefore a new DARTs work item – DARTs-tool based Quantitative Assessment and Positioning of Open RAN Split Architectures – is due to start soon.  

We know that companies will need a range of options for disaggregation so this work item, led by BT, will show the extent of possible disaggregation and the cost of each deployment scenario. By using the tool to explore a number of specific disaggregated network examples, we will be able to deliver a set of industry standard exemplars, outlining the most appropriate split in each scenario. 

If you are already an SCF member and would like to join this new DARTs Work Item then please email [email protected]. And if you’re not an SCF member but would like to understand more about the full DARTs tool and what other benefits membership offers, please email [email protected]