ip.access launched the nanoVirt small cell gateway at this week’s Small Cell World Summit conference in London (10-12 May 2016). nanoVirt integrates ip.access’ 2G, 3G and 4G small cell management and access control functions as virtualised components, running in a carrier-grade virtual machine (VM) environment.
nanoVirt is delivered as a software solution which can be deployed by mobile operators and neutral hosts on their preferred server hardware, or hosted in a third-party data centre. It has already been deployed by Jersey-based JT Group (see below for more).
By enabling small cell operators to use generic server hardware, nanoVirt reduces total cost of ownership, according to the company. It removes the need to hold dedicated spares, allows better utilisation of space in the data centre, and simplifies maintenance and support.
The product is licensed based on network capacity, providing a cost-effective “pay as you grow” solution for small cell deployments. The architecture eliminates the fixed overhead of dedicated hardware gateways and supports new business models such as small cells as a service and neutral hosting.
nanoVirt is a key part of ip.access’ end-to-end Viper Enterprise RAN platform, which also includes a range of plug-and-play 3G and 4G small cell access points for small, medium and large enterprise deployments.
ip.access has already made one live deployment of nanoVirt into the JT Group’s existing 3G small cell deployment in the Channel Islands of Guernsey & Jersey, which provides improved in-building coverage and capacity to JT’s customers and roaming visitors.
ip.access and JT agreed to enhance the 3G network capabilities and reduce the overall equipment TCO by adopting the nanoVirt gateway, which integrates ip.access’ network orchestration system, 3G access controller and security gateway into a fully virtualised carrier-grade solution. The nanoVirt platform also supports future deployments of ip.access 4G small cells into the network.
By adopting nanoVirt, JTwas able to benefit from the improved operational efficiencies of a common hardware platform. Deploying nanoVirt on JT’s preferred server hardware reduces the requirement for JT to hold dedicated spares, maximises utilisation of space, and simplifies support and maintenance tasks.
The solution utilises all the capabilities of a virtual environment, including HyperVisor and Virtual Switch to allow several thousand access points to be supported using COTS IT equipment. The service has been successfully integrated and validated against JT’s network, and has been running live since January.