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Nokia unveils ‘first’ commercial NFV solution

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Nokia Networks has claimed the launch of the first commercial Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) solution, due to bring the power of cloud computing to telecoms grade services, such as Voice over LTE (VoLTE).

The Finnish infrastructure vendor has confirmed that the solution has already gained support from a major (unnamed) operator, and is scheduled to launch the live service by the end of 2014. Nokia claims it is the first ETSI NFV architecture specification-compliant solution to be announced.

NFV has gained significant momentum since first being formed in 2012 by a core of the industry’s leading operators. Increased agility and flexibility, reduced Capex and Opex, and reduced network complexity were the early promises.

Michael Clever, Senior Vice President of Core at Nokia Networks, is pleased to see the vision edge nearer to reality. “The prime motivations for operators to move to the telco cloud are business agility and network flexibility. We are making 2014 the year in which these benefits become reality for operators”, he said.

Alongside the announcement, Nokia also unveiled their orchestration offering for the NFV environment, Cloud Network Director. The orchestrator is designed to automatically deploy, configure, optimise and repair virtualised network functions (VNFs) to simplify service roll-out for network operators.

Speaking to Telecoms.com Phil Twist, who is the Head of Portfolio Marketing at Nokia Networks, believes that the openness is an unavoidable trend, which the vendor community must embrace, citing the success of 3G and LTE standards.

“We are pushing to have open standards in place, so that if an operator chooses to have different components from different vendors, they can,” he said. “What we’re avoiding is a closed market where once you’ve bought from one vendor, you have to buy everything from that vendor because other interfaces don’t match. One of the reasons that 3G and LTE have been so successful is because there are the 3GPP standards which everyone conforms to. You can do different things on top of those standards, but you know that underneath it you will have the right interfaces.”

Twist feels that the industry is now at a stage of technological development to support the movement towards an open-ecosystem and NFV approach. “It’s a progressive migration, and it’s happening now because data centre platforms have reached the performance and cost level where you don’t need to customise platforms to be able to deliver the applications you used to,” he said. “The next Moore’s law separation has yielded platforms which have the performance and scalability to make this logical.”

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In a busy week for announcements, Nokia also introduced an advanced content delivery solution, intended to extend content delivery network capabilities to the base station. The Liquid Applications solution will reduce pressure on network infrastructure by locally hosting frequently accessed content, thus shortening the journey of data through the network.Cloud Network Director, and the orchestration layer over VNFs in the telco network, is a forward thinking initiative. “The orchestration layer is the part which specifies the capacity or configuration of the software and hardware building blocks in a virtualised solution,” said Twist. “That is not yet standardised or in commercial use in a telco environment because it’s not necessary yet. In 2015 or 2016 when Cloud becomes the norm, then it probably will be.”

  • Nokia Corporation


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