It's no secret that network functions virtualization (NFV), along with its cohort software-defined networking (SDN), has been doing great business lately. The value of these tools in the open market has only increased in recent years, and more and more companies are both turning to it and developing for it. Recently, Reliance Jio announced it was joining the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) project, a move which would help add extra innovative firepower to the overall development arc.
Jio, a 4G telecom operator, actually stepped in to ONAP as a Platinum member, showing a clear commitment to the development process. The ONAP project itself, meanwhile, has brought in operations from much of the industrialized world, and now represents—at last report—the fastest-growing project in support of open networking around. Since Jio itself operates an all-IP network built around 4G LTE operations, that makes it not only a potentially significant contributor to open networking, but also a potential major user.
Interestingly, Jio's network has also distinguished itself as a complete mobile video network—built that way from the ground up—and able to support voice over LTE (VoLTE) technology. Jio also represents the largest 4G operator worldwide in terms of data it's carrying, which makes itself a prime candidate for NFV and SDN operations.
With Jio in place, reports from ONAP note, the operation can better push for global acceptance and a better overall community for building toward network automation. Since ONAP already counts several major worldwide firms to its credit—including both China Mobile and China Telecom along with Ericsson, Huawei, Tech Mahindra, Nokia and more—it's a safe bet that adding Reliance Jio will cement that position. Moreover, with Jio in ONAP, it can push for more open source platforms to go beyond the all-IP network it currently offers and step into emerging technologies like wireless and content delivery.
This is a development that plays both sides of the fence. Not only does Jio cement its own position as a powerhouse in the market, but it also opens up the possibility for Jio to be able to bring in new developments to help drive its own operation. It allows Jio to not only be seen as a developer, but also to take advantage of new developments as such emerge. While it's unclear just what these developments will be, the fact that these will exist at all is worth putting in some level of development capability.
It's good news on all sides as NFV, SDN and the like get a new force backing development, and Jio gets potential access to an array of upcoming developments in this field.
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The Network Functions Platform is designed to provide enterprises, as well as MSPs and CSPs, with a seamless migration path towards NFV.
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