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2023 5G Challenge Update (5/17/2023): Additional Four Contestants Pass Stage Two Testing

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The 2023 5G Challenge just completed the second wave of host lab testing. Four additional contestant subsystems have now passed Stage Two testing:

  • GXC (CU+DU)
  • GXC (RU)
  • Mavenir (CU+DU)
  • NewEdge (RU)

During Stage Two, the 2023 5G Challenge evaluated contestants’ radio units (RU) and central unit and distributed unit pairs (CU+DU), in one of the host lab’s wrap-around emulators. The focus of Stage Two testing is to confirm the basic operation and the relevant interfaces for each subsystem.

The test cases span a range of topics, such as transport and handshake, fault management, access control, and delay management. Wrap-around emulation testing checks compliance with 3GPP standards and O-RAN ALLIANCE specifications to identify issues that would hinder multi-vendor integration. See the 2023 5G Challenge test plans and a description of the host lab environment on our Resources page.

In third wave of Stage Two testing, QCT has begun their Stage Two testing of their RU, with results expected at the end of May.


Next, the four contestant pairs shown below (CU+DU and RU) will undergo Stage Three multi-vendor end-to-end integration testing. The judges selected these Stage Three contest pairings before Stage Two lab testing, independent of Stage Two performance. In addition, QCT has begun their Stage Two testing of their RU.

Team 1
Team 2


NTIAʼs Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS), in collaboration with the US Department of Defense (DoD), is hosting a two-year challenge to further accelerate the adoption of:

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  • Open interfaces
  • Interoperable subsystems
  • Secure networks
  • Modular, multi-vendor solutions

In 2022, NTIA/ITS conducted the 5G Challenge Preliminary Event: RAN Subsystem Interoperability. This successful event demonstrated end-to-end data communication sessions using multiple protocols across a multi-vendor, interoperable, open RAN architecture.

The 2023 5G Challenge is offering a $7 million prize pool for participants who successfully integrate their RAN subsystems with multiple other RAN participant subsystems and outperform their peers. The 2023 5G Challenge consists of multiple stages during which contestants are evaluated and prizes are awarded.

The 2023 5G Challenge Timeline 

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2022 Event

The 2022 Event, titled "5G Challenge 2022 Event: RAN Subsystem Interoperability", was the first of two 5G Challenge competitions. In this first-year event, NTIA/ITS offered a $3,000,000 prize purse to contestants who successfully integrated open RAN 5G hardware and/or software solutions.

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