NEC Corporation, a leader in the integration of IT and network technologies, and mobile operator Telefónica have announced an agreement to collaborate in the development of network virtualisation based on SDN (software-defined networking) and NFV (network functions virtualisation) technologies.
Telefónica and NEC Corporation will bring together their technological capabilities and collaborate in a migration scenario study to virtualise the current IP edge network elements. By minimizing the dependence on hardware, virtualisation will bring considerable benefits both to the management of the network and, more importantly, to the end customer.
The network's management will become simple, flexible and enable accelerated service deployment and time to market, while enhancing the customer's connectivity experience.
Network virtualisation with SDN and NFV technologies that combine the IP edge components of networks into one single virtual infrastructure is a key element of Telefonica's network strategy. This collaboration will ensure that virtual network functions are portable between different hardware platforms.
NEC and Telefónica have produced the first real case study of virtualised EPC (Evolved Packet Core) and showcased the technology at Mobile World Congress 2013.
Providing a single pointed infrastructure model to manage all the aspects of a virtualised network is consistent with Telefónica's global strategy to further develop its smart seamless network capabilities. By enabling advanced network automation, rapid delivery of network services and easy application of policies across the network, SDN plays an important role to seamlessly interconnect all the virtual network functions.
The agreement enables both companies to leverage their proven technological strengths and to develop a competitive virtualised network system much faster. As a result, in the first half of 2013, Telefónica and NEC expect to start validating the equipment being tested, including NFV which comprehends virtualised EPC (the core network of the LTE system).
‘NEC has proven capabilities in delivering innovative SDN and NFV solutions to Telefónica as part of transforming their networks into a more efficient and scalable “virtualised carrier-grade” solution,’ said Mr. Shunichiro Tejima, senior vice-president, NEC Corporation. ‘NEC already introduced the world's first commercialized OpenFlow system, an award-winning solution for data center control virtualisation.’
‘A flexible and efficient smart network goes hand-in- hand with enhanced customer experience. For this reason, network virtualisation is a key element within our strategy to innovate data centre management and to deliver the best seamless connectivity experience. We are delighted to have NEC on board with us as they are an important partner to develop a set of products based on a unique integration of IT and Networks,’ said Enrique Blanco, Telefónica Global CTO.