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Etisalat Launches its First Virtual Telecom Function With Affirmed Networks' vEPC

By Frank Griffin July 22, 2016

Telecom operators around the world are facing incredible network challenges for the mobile services they provide. And as 5G networks are ready to get deployed with more consumers using smartphones and the Internet of Things (IoT) also becoming part of this ecosystem, the challenges are going to get even more complicated. Emirates Telecommunications Corporation, also known as Etisalat, has been making the necessary investments to move the organization forward with virtualized solutions.

After the recent successful launch of its first network function virtualization (NFV) telco cloud, it also announced it has used Affirmed Networks' virtualized Evolved Packet Core (vEPC) solution to on-board its first virtualized telecom function.

Etisalat is a telecommunications company based in the UAE with presence in 18 countries across Asia, the Middle East and Africa, which has made it the thirteenth largest mobile network operator in the world. As the company continues to grow, it is looking to position itself as the leader in the region as well as the many countries in which it operates.

With Affirmed Networks' vEPC, Etisalat will be able to deliver a wide range of traditional and new generation services. According to the company, this will include broadband and voice services for mobile and fixed users, but it will also be using the benefits of virtualization for the connected car, IoT, Machine-to-Machine (M2M), Wi-Fi calling and Smart City services. And unlike traditional evolved packet core solutions, the instance of virtualization will allow it to deploy services in a matter of hours and days instead of months.

"This national deployment of vEPC now provides Etisalat with an innovative and flexible way to deliver services and connectivity to customers across the UAE, regardless of their location," said Esmaeel Alhammadi, senior vice president of Network Development in Etisalat and Sahaab program lead.

The vEPC project is an organization wide initiative launched by the company in 2016 to begin its migration to the cloud by focusing on telecom services that bring the best of both hardware centric and software centric cloud services together seamlessly. With the adoption of NFV and Software-Defined Networking (SDN), Etisalat will be poised to take advantage of the new services that consumers and organizations will require for smart cities, IoT and 5G.

Affirmed Networks' gives Etisalat an agile and flexible virtualized architecture that is capable of scaling to address the needs of the company and a highly dynamic environment in which request for additional capacity can be made at any given time.

Mohammed Shanableh, vice president of Global Operations of Affirmed Networks, said “By embracing a virtualized LTE solution, Etisalat is putting in place a network that is capable of handling the ever-changing expectations of consumers-both today and in the future where increased connectivity to devices, applications and services will place new demands on operator networks.”

Edited by Alicia Young

Contributing Writer

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