NFV Applications NEWS

VimpelCom Opts for Global NFV Tender to Support Asian Virtualized Network Project

By Rory Lidstone April 14, 2016

Earlier in the year, international telecommunications company VimpelCom made it clear that 2016 would be a big year when it outlined its goal of establishing a virtual network infrastructure in five Asian countries by the end of the year. The company took its first step toward that goal at the end of February when it hired ZTE to establish the virtual mobile network, starting in Kyrgyzstan and Laos with plans to roll out to Armenia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan later in the year.

Now, VimpelCom is heading into the next phase of the project with the announcement that it will hold a global tender for the virtualization of its networks, according to Iain Morris over on Light Reading. The goal here is to attract more partners to help VimpelCom roll out its network following ZTE’s preliminary work. VimpelCom CTO Yogesh Malik stated that the global tender would apply not only to the virtualized evolved packet core (vEPC) network rollout, but also to “the whole virtualization concept.”

Indeed, VimpelCom plans to start with a vEPC rollout first in order to better cope with increasing levels of data traffic on 4G/LTE networks. However, the company plans to virtualize a variety of capabilities, from media gateways, to the USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) mobile signaling function and beyond.

Although ZTE has performed well in service of VimpelCom’s Asian NFV efforts so far—in fact, Malik is quoted as saying ZTE did a “very good job”—VimpelCom wants to avoid a single-vendor approach to the project. The worry is that going single-vendor would hinder innovation. The fact that the project will likely end up embracing OpenStack may also play a role in this decision.

That said, it doesn’t appear VimpelCom has made a definite decision in terms of an OpenStack-based deployment, just as it has yet to choose all of the partners that will allow it to see through this ambitious NFV project. Regardless of how the company decides to get there, it’s clear the outcome will be impressive.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

Contributing Writer

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