Taking 5G RAN Analytics and Control to a New Level

Open RAN, a modular and disaggregated design paradigm for 5G radio access networks (RAN), promises full programmability through the O-RAN RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC). However, due to latency and safety challenges, the telemetry and control provided by the RIC is mainly limited to higher layers and higher time scales (> 10 ms), while also relying on predefined service models which are hard to change. We address these issues by proposing Janus, a fully programmable monitoring and control system, specifically designed with the RAN idiosyncrasies in mind, focused on flexibility, efficiency and safety. Janus builds on eBPF to allow third-parties to load arbitrary codelets directly in the RAN functions in a provably safe manner. We extend eBPF with a novel bytecode patching algorithm that enforces codelet runtime thresholds, and a safe way to collect user-defined telemetry. We demonstrate Janus’ flexibility and efficiency by building 3 different classes of applications (17 applications in total, most not achievable on the existing RIC) and deploying them on a 100MHz 4×4 MIMO 5G cell without affecting the RAN performance.