I’ve had the opportunity this year to meet with mobile operator leaders from around the globe. Whether they are large or small, focused on consumer services or businesses, or engaged in video or mobility, their ambitions are much in line with our strategy: to help them monetize and optimize their networks, while accelerating their ability to deliver their services.
As mobile operators are deploying new technologies to help achieve their business outcomes, “virtualization” is often touted as the answer, and, in part, that is correct. At Cisco, we believe it is important to frame the discussion properly in order to reap the full benefits of what’s possible in networking.
The network is increasingly becoming virtualized, and virtualization is increasingly becoming networked. Virtualizing applications is an initial step that can provide some advantages. However, there are ways to get even greater value by virtualizing network functions but then to automate and orchestrate the applications and network elements into profitable services.
In the end, it is this holistic approach that enables mobile operators to offer networking itself “as a service” – that’s where the true value is. This is why we have pursued virtualization in all of these different levels and many mobile operators including NTT DOCOMO, INC.
We are honored to work with DOCOMO toward the realization of our shared vision. Through a recent collaboration with them, DOCOMO completed a proof-of-concept (PoC) trial that has verified the feasibility of network functions virtualization (NFV) using our Cisco Virtualized Packet Core and Cisco Network Services Orchestrator (NSO), the core network of long-term evolution (LTE) systems.
The DOCOMO trial successfully verified the interoperability of virtualized evolved packet core (vEPC) software with our virtualization management system for network control mechanisms, such as scalable data processing capability for congested data traffic and stable network recovery in the event of hardware failure.
Seizo Onoe, executive vice president and chief technology officer, NTT DOCOMO, said: “Thanks to collaborative efforts in the mobile network industry, NFV is soundly moving toward practical realization, rather than just ending up as a pie-in-the-sky dream. I am delighted that we have confirmed the feasibility of NFV through multi-vendor initiatives with Cisco and other top ICT players.”
“DOCOMO demonstrates that there are ways to get greater value by virtualizing network functions and to automate and orchestrate the applications and network elements for profitable business outcomes. Cisco applauds DOCOMO for this and is honored to continue to collaborate with them toward the realization of our shared vision,” said Kelly Ahuja, senior vice president, service provide business, Cisco.