Frequently asked Questions:

About the i14y Lab

What is the i14y Lab?

We are an open lab focused on interoperability and integration testing for disaggregated mobile & transport networking components. We do this to accelerate market readiness of components being developed for these new ecosystems of network disaggregation.

The lab is run by a consortium that has players from all areas needed to achieve this goal: operators, vendors, system integrators, and academia. And we have the support of the German government. 

As we are an open lab, we work together with providers and vendors of all sizes – from large companies to start-ups - and with a range of communities already active in network disaggregation.

Why is the i14y Lab so important?

The i14y Lab is designed to help create the ecosystem for network disaggregation efforts like Open RAN. This burgeoning network disaggregation ecosystem needs cooperation and a testing and communication hub that can produce market compatible results. For this, cooperation between many different players - operators, vendors, system integrators, ministries, and academia - is essential.

Cooperation is needed to avoid fragmentation, tackle conflicts of interest, questions of IPR and of changing business models, and to get the different players to share a vision. For this cooperation to work, it needs to be transparent and open. And it needs a place where these many strands can come together – and that place is the i14y Lab.

Through our open approach, the i14y Lab will reduce the effort and hence the costs in making disaggregated network components market ready for all players. Additionally, it will give companies of all sizes quick and easy access to reference architectures for their hardware or software components. Making these testing abilities available will lower the transaction costs associated with such products. By doing this we lower the entrance barrier, increase visibility for those providers, and make market success more likely.

What does the name i14y stand for?

i14y is a commonly used abbreviation for interoperability – a core concept of network disaggregation. The 14 in i14y represents the number of characters left out between the “i” and “y” of the word interoperability.

Where is i14y Lab located?

i14y Lab is in Berlin, Germany. The address is Winterfeldtstraße 21, 10781 Berlin.

The i14y Lab Berlin will be the central location and the core node of satellite locations. Currently, satellite locations are planned for example in Munich, to be operated by the consortium partners such as Nokia.

What is the i14y Lab mission?

Our Mission is to accelerate time to market for disaggregated network solutions. The Lab will not be just another test lab. We want it to be the entry gate to discussions on commercial deployment.

The i14y Lab is almost unique in providing great connections to key European operators and Open RAN communities, and a highly, flexible, up-to-date automated test environment for E2E disaggregated networks.

What are the main goals of the i14y lab?

Our goal is to accelerate market readiness of disaggregated components. Through our setup, our capabilities for supporting regular & permanent testing and the involvement of our partners we ensure that components are fit for market.

We aim to lower the entry barrier for companies in the field of disaggregated network solutions by lowering transactions costs through sharing of results. Open RAN is certainly one of the most advanced initiatives in this respect.

We promote standards and their development to insure interoperability providing a place to test to these requirements to accelerate the path to market readiness. Which is why it is important that we have three major operators on board.

How is it going to help the telecommunications industry?

Network disaggregation efforts such as Open RAN lead the way towards faster innovation and greater cost efficiency for the telecoms industry. The i14y Lab is made to help grow a vibrant ecosystem for network disaggregation efforts. The labs focus is on testing and validating test scenarios which have been agreed among the 3 operators Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica, Vodafone.

  • By using and enhancing scenarios from sources such as the MoU Group for a phased approach to E2E testing,
  • By developing our own i14y Lab TIP blueprints and reference E2E implementations for measuring and assessing the solutions’ maturity according to strategic needs of the operators.

With the lab, we set up a broader frame for standardized testing based on shared scenarios – towards building an Open Ecosystems that allows for permanent testing.

What activities are planned in the lab?

The i14y Lab is built to be a lab as a service with a modular infrastructure that can provide end-to-end testing for interoperability. As an open lab it is open to all interested parties, operators, vendors, and system integrators to test hardware and software pertaining to disaggregated networks and open 5G radio solutions.

Based on this, we offer 3 test environments

  • Permanent test setups
  • Temporary test setups for events
  • On demand test set ups fulfilling specific need

For further information please feel free to contact us directly

How can I get in contact with the i14y Lab and find additional information?

You can get in contact with us via our website or drop us an email at

For additional information please also check:



You can also find information on our consortium partners’ social media and websites.

What makes the i14y Lab special?

Disaggregation needs collaboration. We at i14y Lab bring the players together. That is why we have set up a broad consortium that is open to expansion through our associate partnership model.

i14y Lab is important for building a European and German ecosystem of vendors and system integrators. Digitalization requires more flexible and powerful networks, and network disaggregation promises to deliver more flexibility, innovation, and choice for all market players. The testing and integration work done at our lab is crucial to developing the collaboration and the standards required for this open, disaggregated approach.

  • 3 operators have joined to give access to reference implementations agreed among them and to provide a touchpoint with European operators’ way of working and requirements
  • Involvement of 3 SMEs which bring additional testing and lab design expertise, and open-source SW development for SMO Into the lab.
  • we align with and support further ministry calls for using the lab

The i14y Lab has the capability to conduct outdoor tests. We have two courtyards with lamp poles where RUs such as 5G radio units can be mounted.


Who are the members of the i14y Lab consortium?

The consortium is made up of BISDN, Capgemini Engineering, Deutsche Telekom AG, EANTC, Fraunhofer HHI, highstreet technologies, Nokia, Rohde & Schwarz, Telefónica Deutschland, TU Berlin, Vodafone.

The lab in Berlin is hosted by Deutsche Telekom, who also leads the consortium.

What do the consortium members contribute to the i14y Lab?

Disaggregation needs collaboration. We at i14y Lab bring the players together. That is why we have set up a broad consortium that is open to expansion through our associate partnership model.

  • 3 operators | Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica and Vodafone
    • give access to reference implementations agreed among 3 operators,
    • provide a touchpoint with European operators’ way of working and requirements
    • avoid fragmentation
  • 3 System Integrators | Capgemini Engineering, Nokia and Rohde & Schwarz
    • develop reference implementation
    • provide test equipment
  • 3 SMEs | BISDN, EANTC and highstreet technologies
    • testing and lab design expertise
    • open-source SW development for SMO
  • 2 academic institutions TU Berlin and Fraunhofer HHI
    • Provide a link to the world of research
    • Be a pipeline for future developments regarding security, emulation, and energy saving
  • the German Ministry for Digital and Transport
    • Alignement with governmental priorities
What is the role of TIP and ORAN Alliance in i14y Lab?

In the effort to bring the telco industry together the i14y Lab also works together with large international network disaggregation communities and initiatives such as the O-RAN-ALLIANCE, the Telecom Infrastructure Project (TIP), and the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), who are all involved in the activities of the i14y Lab Berlin.

We at the i14y Lab set up a broader frame for standardized testing based on shared scenarios – towards building an Open Ecosystems that allows for permanent testing and leveraging TIP exchange & badging and O-RAN OTIC badges. We offer different levels of conformance, integration & interoperability tests.

For our goal to accelerate market readiness and to avoid fragmentation it is important that we combine the efforts of TIP, O-RAN ALLIANCE and other communities with the needs of the operators and the market participants. So, we build on their test plans and adapt them to our needs and then provide easily accessible integration testing for those plans and share their results with the community. This will, by the way, also lower transaction costs and the entry barriers for market activities.

How is the i14y Lab funded?

i14y Lab is funded by the members of the consortium and the German Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport.

The German government sees Open RAN as an opportunity for the German and European industry and wants to promote greater independence in building telco network infrastructure. That's why it is funding a wide range of projects. The i14y Lab is intended to help bring the new technology to the market more quickly. The initial focus is on the development of Open RAN.

Collaboration and Engagement

What can I do at the i14y Lab?

The i14y Lab is open for testing. You can propose a project on the website using Start a Project.

The lab also regularly hosts plugfests and permanent testing. Please follow the lab on LinkedIn to keep up to date about our activities and upcoming events.

If you have other questions for example regarding collaboration in general, you can contact the lab by e-mail at

Who can make use of the i14y Lab?

The i14y Lab is open for all parties working on network disaggregation like Open RAN and who want to work on testing hardware or software components with an eye to getting them market ready.

Our events also provide a place to network with key players of the industry, and get in touch for example with the startup incubator hub:raum to become part of the future telco ecosystems.

  • Hardware vendors e.g., Radio units
  • Software vendor like big players and SMEs
  • System Integrators
  • Academic Institutions: Carry out own implementations, measurements for scientific work etc.
  • Test execution providers, for certification and badges
  • Test component providers
  • Basic infrastructure providers
  • Operators: Integration test, function test
  • SDO - Standards Development Organization
How can I start a project?

On the lab’s website you can propose a project in a few easy steps. We will ask you to provide the necessary information that will allow us to quickly decide whether your testing project is a good fit for the lab. Should we have any more questions regarding your proposal, we will get in touch with you.


What does the i14y Lab offer?

The i14y Lab provides a modular, dynamic network infrastructure for development, testing and certification. Besides that, you can benefit from our flexible infrastructure and open technological setup with cloudified & software-based solutions. Our lab offers open APIs and a whole ecosystem of applications, services and technologies that can be tailored to your needs - perfect for efficient testing. Access to fixed line connectivity and our comprehensive set-up enable end-to-end testing for complete interoperability.

The lab offers different setup that are either permanent and based on standard reference architecture, temporary setups for events such as plugfests and on-demand setups fulfilling specific needs.

Based on this, we offer 3 test environments

  • Permanent test setups: always available, standardized test setups based on reference architecture ready to push for certification, badging and as proof points for commercial vendor selection and immediately ease market readiness, that will evolve with the needs of the reference architecture and allow continuous testing.
  • Temporary test setups for events such as the European O-RAN and TIP plugfest
  • On demand test set ups fulfilling specific need – like for example using single components installed in the lab


Focus topics for permanent test setups | under discussion

  • Open Fronthaul Interoperability testing
  • Unit and conformance testing for Open RAN building blocks
  • E2E functional testing
  • E2E performance and service scalability testing
  • E2E service, security, and application-layer testing
  • Network optimization (RIC and xApps/rApps) validation
How does the lab prioritize the permanent test setups it provides?

Prioritization of test scenarios and phasing is helped by the i14y Lab members of the MoU Group and follows industry needs:

  1. O-RAN test specifications and TIP test plans of relevance to E2E testing
  2. TIP| MOU Group priority requirements
  3. Other scenarios of interest to operators | CPS in the consortium
  4. Other scenarios of interest to vendors

This approach reduces the effort and hence the costs for all players. Additionally, it gives also smaller companies the opportunity for easy access to reference architectures for testing their hardware or software components, giving them testing-abilities, they could otherwise not use or afford. By doing this we lower entrance barrier for them, increase their visibility, and likelihood to enter the market.

Is the lab equipped with all safety measures for conducting testing especially on RF side?

One of our basic rules is to keep our employees, testers, and customers safe in all the activities in our lab environment. That’s why we strongly focus on compliance with all safety measures regarding RF and Laser equipment. Furthermore, the Lab provides a couple of measures to physically limit the expansion of strong radio signals like e.g., shielded boxes and even a shielded room.

Events, Fairs, Conferences

What have been the contributions of this lab in past and upcoming actvities?

The i14y Lab has already hosted joint O-RAN | TIP Plugfests in 2021 and 2022. For test results of the past plugfest please check the ORAN alliance page and our page

We also been presenting our lab at the TIP Summit, the MWC 22 and the fyuz conference.

Demonstrations, achievements, breakout session, etc. you can find on our website or our YouTube channel.

For news about future events follow us on LinkedIn and regularly check our website to stay up to date.

What is a plugfest?

Plugfest are events hosted by for example the O-RAN Alliance and the Telecom Infra Project, to test the interoperability and integration capability with different vendor solutions. Such events are the best way in the early stages of technology development to bring manufacturers together for the first time and give them the greatest possible freedom of interaction.

How can I be a part of a plugfest and what do I gain from participating?

We announce plugfests at the i14y Lab publicly in advance so that you can let us know if you are interested in participating by emailing us at

As a participant you will have the opportunity to integrate and test Open RAN-based solutions in multi-vendor environment. Advanced O-RAN and TIP test scenarios are addressed with the goal of going beyond proven fundamentals and closing the gap to production readiness. The hybrid lab environment enables remote testing and reduces the time required to professionally plan, execute, and document. Automated and efficient test execution with fewer interventions accelerates the testing process. Aligning test coverage and results between service providers co-hosting the plugfest, opening the opportunity to present solution readiness to operators and the O-RAN ALLIANCE as well as the TIP audience.

If you are invited to a plugfest, please provide O-RU, O-DU, O-CU near-RT or non-RT RIC; SMO, xApps, rApps, test and measurement-equipment; cloud platforms and acceleration solutions.

About i14y Lab

The i14y Lab is an open lab for interoperability testing of disaggregated telco systems, such as Open RAN, led by Deutsche Telekom together with consortium partners BISDN, Capgemini Engineering, EANTC, Fraunhofer HHI, highstreet technologies, Nokia, Rohde & Schwarz, Telefonica Deutschland, TU Berlin, Vodafone and supported with public funding from the German Ministry of Digital and Transport (BMDV).

The i14y Lab provides infrastructure for integration tests with the aim to evaluate market readiness and accelerate production readiness of multi-vendor disaggregated telco solutions. By creating and providing a vendor-independent environment, we promote the development of an innovative, open, and interoperable telco ecosystem.