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NSN, SK Telecom Demo NFV-based EPC

By Paula Bernier November 26, 2013

Nokia Solutions and Networks and Korean carrier SK Telecom have successfully staged a joint proof of concept that leverages network functions virtualization for the evolved packet core.

Reino Tammela, vice president, Packet Core at NSN, explained that the effort proved that handling both control and user plane traffic in the cloud is possible to affordably meet the performance requirements of data traffic growth.

“We were able to demonstrate concrete benefits ranging from reduced deployment costs to elasticity on demand, and from faster time-to-market to software investment protection, all of which greatly contribute to SK Telecom’s readiness for its future launch of the EPC on cloud solution,” Tammela said.

Joe Hoffman of ABI Research was quoted in the same NSN press release saying: “NSN’s early lead with Liquid Core virtualization puts its proofs-of-concept into the fast lane, and racing with x86 hardware and a multi-stack cloud positions them to deliver everything operators want from NFV.”

Liquid Core enables network operators to run various core network elements on the same commercial off-the-shelf ATCA platforms (and, ultimately, on other generic multi-purpose hardware) simultaneously. As previously reported by NFVzone, ABI Research indicates that Cisco and Nokia have positioned themselves as leaders on the important new software-defined networking and network functions virtualization fronts.

“Nokia Siemens Networks has taken leadership in virtualizing its Liquid Core network with commercial ATCA and HP servers, and is most aligned with NFV,” ABI Research said in announcing the data.

ABI Research believes telecom networks will virtualize the services plane first, and then do the same to the control and data planes of new 3G and 4G networks, and it expects the virtualized mobile network spend to reach nearly $6 billion by 2018.

“Software-defined networking and network functions virtualization are shaping up to fundamentally change the nature of the telecom industry,” says Hoffman. “The changes in business practices will enhance both top line and bottom line financial results much more than just cost reductions. In the long run, operators embracing SDN/NFV will outrun their competitors with a much faster service velocity.”

Edited by Blaise McNamee

Executive Editor, TMC

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