Alcatel-Lucent has signed a co-innovation agreement with Telefónica to drive innovation and adoption of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) by the telecommunications industry, building on the strength of a shared vision.
The strategic relationship will use Alcatel-Lucent’s CloudBand NFV platform to identify and develop process models to help service providers decide which elements within the network should be virtualized and when.
Virtualization of network functions allow decoupling of the software-based functions from the physical infrastructure enabling service providers such as Telefónica to greatly reduce operating costs through a more efficient management of the physical infrastructure, which can be reused for playing different functionalities
It also enables the faster roll-out of next-generation services and applications thanks to the moldable network architecture that the software based functions make possible, moving and adding the functionality to the points of presence where they are required in almost real time.
Alcatel-Lucent and Telefónica both play leading roles in the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) industry body for NFV and are committed to advancing the development of NFV. With this expanded collaboration, Telefónica and Alcatel-Lucent will move closer to making NFV a reality and create a reference model for future network architectures.
In addition to the agreement with Telefónica, Alcatel-Lucent has also recently announced a new commitment to the virtualization strategy of its own product portfolio. Key aspects of the partnership are:
- Using Alcatel-Lucent’s CloudBand platform, the co-development program with Telefónica will define NFV-evolved architectures, identify and test different NFV scenarios and environments.
- Alcatel-Lucent and Telefónica will create a joint NFV research facility, sharing resources, experts and technology to develop, test and validate a network functions virtualization execution platform as part of their shared NFV vision.
- The agreement involves joint investment, certification programs, engagement with other service providers and eventually participation in field trials. The agreement includes also the common research and definition of virtual RAN architectures.
Enrique Blanco, Global CTO of Telefónica said: “The intimacy required for a successful collaboration between large enterprises does not come easily. Fortunately, we have an excellent track record of successfully working with Alcatel-Lucent around the world. We know each other very well. I am confident that what we achieve over the course of the next year in the realm of virtualization will have major benefits for our two companies and the industry as a whole.”
Michel Combes, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent, said: “Alcatel-Lucent and Telefónica share a vision of the strategic importance of virtualization and the Cloud and we look forward to the development of meaningful applications of NFV in particular via this extended collaboration.
“Our two companies have enjoyed a highly fruitful relationship in recent years, including our first co-innovation agreement with Telefónica in 2011 helping to turn a vision of the future for wireless into reality, and the award last year of the LTE overlay contract with Telefónica Spain sealing the value of that vision.”