Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN) and Korean operator SK Telecom have demonstrated the potential to virtualize the core of a mobile network, which would make it easier for operators to deploy new services.
Virtualization and cloud services have changed the architecture and business systems management. The desire of the mobile operators have the same advantages in their networks has led to the concept of NFV (network virtualization functions).
According to Nokia, the aim is to withdraw from the costly equipment proprietors and operators currently use and instead to adopt more cloud infrastructure to enable them to be more flexible and using the commodity hardware. In turn, this would enable operators to reduce their costs and deploy new services faster, which would benefit to the users as well.
As the global demand for mobile broadband with top-of-class quality of service continues to grow, future-proof core network architecture with efficient cloud computing capabilities becomes essential.
SK Telecom evaluated several vendors for its proof-of-concept project, and selected NSN’s core virtualization concept based on the company’s Liquid Core architecture. NSN was the only vendor to successfully demonstrate a complete EPC solution in a cloud environment, including both virtualized Mobility Management Entity (MME) and virtualized S/P-Gateway elements.
NSN’s virtualized EPC is designed to help operators be more competitive by introducing optimal services customized to their environments. The solution can be deployed to off-the shelf commercial IT hardware which can help operators reduce OPEX costs, deploy effective solutions and eaily run and manage the application.
Nokia Solutions and Networks has demonstrated its telco cloud capabilities in a joint proof-of-concept for Evolved Packet Core (EPC) virtualization with SK Telecom, the leading operator in Korea and were able to successfully manage both performance and for traffic signals based on usage patterns of smartphones, Nokia said on Monday.
Due to strong interest from operators, vendors can not ignore the NFV even if they moving to a more open network might open the door to new competitors in the field of network infrastructure, according to Sylvain Fabre, research director at Gartner.
SK Telecom is not the only vendor interested in NFV. Last year representatives of some 13 operators, including Verizon, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, met for writing a white paper on the subject.