5G offering

The pieces

As of Nov. 2016, the following pieces are made available to R2lab users

  • a commercial phone is deployed inside the room; it can be controlled through a dedicated MAC box, to which it is linked with a USB cable;
  • we offer 2 ready-to-use images, tuned for the R2lab nodes, and with the OpenAiInterface software installed; they target, on the one hand, the infrastructure side of a LTE network, and on the other hand radio-oriented functions, like base stations and UEs.

These pieces are described in more detail in this section of the tutorial

Phone setup

Here's the generic setup regarding the commercial phones available

From faraday to controlling MAC macphone

  • controlling MAC is known from faraday.inria.fr as macphone
  • however you need a private key to login; this is located in /home/faraday/r2lab/inventory/macphone
  • so for convenience on faraday you can use the macphone alias that calls ssh with the right options

So for example to run the macphone-status command on the MAC, you can do this

inria_r2lab.tutorial@faraday:~$ macphone phone-status && echo OK
phone is turned ON

Or more simply if you just want to login into the MAC box, you can do this

inria_r2lab.tutorial@faraday:~$ macphone
Last login: Fri May 12 14:50:13 2017 from rhubarbe-switches
macphone:~ tester$

From macphone

Once on macphone, just like on faraday, there are some convenience tools available in this shell environment

macphone:~ tester$ help
#################### Native bash help
#################### R2lab: tools for managing R2lab phone from macphone
refresh     retrieve latest git repo, and source it in this shell
        start an app from its package name
phone-wifi-on   turn on wifi (tested on nexus 5)
phone-wifi-off  turn off wifi (tested on nexus 5)
phone-on        turn off airplane mode
phone-off       turn off airplane mode - does not touch wifi settings
phone-status    shows wheter airplane mode is on or off
phone-reboot    reboot phone with abd reboot

You can also of course use adb, and thus eventually enter the phone itself

macphone:~ tester$ adb devices
List of devices attached
062337da0051af9f    device

macphone:~ tester$ adb shell
shell@hammerhead:/ $

VNC access

Another way to control the phone is through VNC, or equivalently the Screen Sharing application if your own computer is a MAC. This way you can obtain a video session in macphone, as illustrated below, and from that point you can run the Vysor application and see the phone screen, and interact with it as if it were in your hand.

For this you will need the following information:

  • VNC endpoint : faraday.inria.fr on port 5900 - this port is forwarded to macphone on same port
  • login credentials in macphone : tester / tester++

SIM cards and other details

  • There is no reason why you would need this, but if only for the record:
  • the Android phone's SIM card PIN is 1234
  • the iphone's SIM card PIN is 0000; its IMEI is 353315078943730


The following images are available for uploading on R2lab:

  • oai-gw comes with primarily openair-cn (from this git repo)
  • oai-enb comes with primarily openairinterface5g (from this git repo)

Please note that the latter one only makes sense on nodes that have a USRP attached. The former on the other hand can run on any node.

Typical setup

For more details on how to run a 5G network inside the room, please take a look in the R2lab git repo at the OpenAirInterface demo and in particular the source code for oai-scenario.py.

This script leverages these 2 images in order to create a setup where

  • one (any) R2lab node is used to run a 5g HSS,
  • one (any) R2lab node is used to run a 5g EPC and a 5g SPGW,
  • one (USRP) node is used to run as a 5g Base Station,
  • the commercial phone is used to connect to the 5G network;

Both images come with their own set of convenience shell functions, and these are leveraged in oai-scenario.py in order to keep that python script's size reasonable. Of course you do not have to use these convenience tools, you can use lower level tools to perform the configurations that you'd like.

For the sake of completeness, the convenience tools available on these 2 images are defined here:

There is room for quite some improvement in these tools; if of interest, feel free to discuss this topic on the users mailing list.

The software and hardware featured at R2lab allow to setup an experimental 5G network inside the anechoic chamber.

As of now, the simplest option is to use a commercial phone to act as the tip of the iceberg in this setup.

It is in principle doable to run a UE inside a R2lab as well, but we have no working implementation of that as of yet.

Again, feel free to discuss this topic on the users mailing list.