The U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has granted a substantial $21.7 million to VIAVI Solutions for their Open Radio Access Network (RAN) testing system named VIAVI Automated Lab-as-a-service for Open RAN (VALOR).
The funding comes from the Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Funds and is slated for distribution over a three-year performance period.
VALOR utilises VIAVI's leading-edge NITRO Wireless test portfolio, offering the service through Lab-as-a-Service (LaaS) and Test-as-a-Service (TaaS) models.
The operation is designed to aid and manage 5G and Open RAN projects which could garner considerable benefits from access to dedicated engineers, automated test processes, comprehensive testing capabilities, and top-tier industry know-how.
The setup also ensures swift induction times to avoid any operational hiccups. These components are integrated as a structurally cost-effective way that the NTIA grant will further enhance.
Oleg Khaykin, President and Chief Executive Officer at VIAVI, spoke of the pride the firm has in securing the generous grant to further their Open RAN project, emphasizing accessibility, sustainability and affordability as key goals within the operation.
"Open RAN is critical to securing the telecommunications supply chain of our nation, but the inherent openness and flexibility of this technology also bring about complexities. As a leader in 5G and upcoming 6G, VIAVI is committed to certification, benchmarking, optimization and verification to enhance the efficiency, automation, and security of Open RAN systems."
The award is seen as a significant boost to the budding tech scene in Arizona. Commending the innovation, Senator Kristen Synema stated, "Innovation in Arizona continues to flourish thanks to our work on the CHIPS and Science Act."
"The $21.7 million grant we secured for VIAVI Solutions in Chandler will fuel economic growth, spur innovation, and lower costs – and we couldn't be prouder to help make it a reality."
Additionally, Senator Mark Kelly expressed gratitude towards tech firms like VIAVI and their significant contributions toward the tech future of Arizona. He said, "Thanks to cutting-edge companies like VIAVI, Arizona is a hotbed for industries of the future, including the next generation of wireless technologies."
He continued, "As a lead negotiator of the Chips and Science Act, I worked to secure investments that will fuel innovation, increase competition, and reduce reliance on wireless equipment providers that threaten our national security."
The backing from a recognised government body like the NTIA, coupled with the positive enthusiasm received from significant state figures, sets a promising stage for the future of VIAVI's Open RAN testing systems and the technological landscape of Arizona.