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Using OpenLTE and SDR hardware in PhantomNet


PhantomNet supports software-defined RAN instances by combining software-defined radio (SDR) hardware and open source eNodeB software. We provide host PCs with USRP B210 RF hardware for the SDR hardware and OpenLTE is one of the supported eNodeB software implementations.  

Hardware setup

The USRP hosts can be allocated with an NS file similar to the following:

set ns [new Simulator]
source tb_compat.tcl

set node [$ns node]
tb-fix-node $node nuc1
tb-set-node-os $node openlte-0-19

$ns run

The host is connected to the USRP via USB 3, and the connectivity can be verified from a shell on the host with a command like:

$ uhd_usrp_probe

This will also have the side effect of loading the USRP firmware if necessary.

To prepare the UE side of the RAN, you can operate one of the Nexus 5 handsets with an appropriate SIM card over the air (support for automatic allocation of UE devices and connectivity through the attenuator matrix is planned for the future).  You will need to know the IMSI and IMEI of the UE.

eNodeB setup

To start the SDR eNodeB, you must first ensure the USRP firmware has been loaded (see above), and then start the OpenLTE eNodeB process on the host:

$ cd /usr/local/src/openlte-code/build/LTE_fdd_enodeb

$ ./LTE_fdd_enodeb

At this point, you should connect to TCP port 30000 on the host (with a telnet client or similar) to issue the configuration commands.  You can optionally also connect to port 30001 to monitor debugging output.  The eNodeB can be configured with settings like the following:

add_user imsi=xxxxxxxx imei=xxxxxxxx k=00112233445566778899aabbccddeeff

write band 4

write dl_earfcn 2175

write bandwidth 5

write tx_gain 30

write rx_gain 30


The IMSI and IMEI must correspond to the values programmed on the UE SIM card.

UE setup

Once the eNodeB is running, the UE should be able to locate the base station and receive PBCH messages.  You should be able to connect to the LTE network, and send and receive IPv4 traffic through OpenLTE's emulated EPC.