Orange demos multi-vendor NFV solution, Vodafone strikes NFV deal for M2M

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Orange has demonstrated how NFV and SDN capabilities can be delivered in on-demand networks using solutions from multiple vendors.

Using solutions from both Cisco and Nokia, Orange sought to ape a real-life carrier environment with network architecture from multiple suppliers and show advanced NFV and SDN capabilities can still improve service deployment, simplify network infrastructure and streamline operations.

“In order to accelerate our roadmap towards a cloud-based, all IP network, we need more multi-vendor solutions that are interoperable,” said Alain Maloberti, Senior Vice President at Orange Labs Networks.

“This proof of concept shows we can utilise advanced NFV and SDN capabilities to speed up service deployment times and to offer potential cost optimisation while increasing flexibility. In our view, interoperability is a key success factor so we hope that this proof-of-concept will spur the industry to work towards more interoperability.”

Orange suggested its proof of concept is pertinent for enterprise customers in particular, in areas such as managing secure internet access for mobile workers.

Typically, NFV and SDN capabilities are leveraged to deploy a dedicated virtual evolved packet core (EPC) with high availability and on-demand scalability. Designed in collaboration with Cisco and Nokia and shown on its stand in Hall 5, Orange said its proof-of-concept confirmed also that virtualised infrastructure that integrates components from multiple vendors is practical.

The Hall 5 showcase embedded Cisco’s new Ultra Service Platform, providing a virtual EPC, virtual network functions (VNF) manager and network service orchestrator (NSO), along with Nokia’s CloudBand NFV infrastructure and network detector, and Nuage Networks’ virtualised service platform.

Meanwhile, Vodafone has deployed an NFV solution from Affirmed Networks to deliver machine-to-machine (M2M) and connected car services across its global network infrastructure.

Affirmed Networks said at MWC its virtualised Evolved Packet Core (EPC) solutions are supporting live traffic related to these services in several of Vodafone’s markets including Brazil, Germany, Spain and the United States. The company said Vodafone's move to virtualise its network functions will reduce the cost and enhance the speed of creating new services.

Scott Petty, Director of Group Enterprise Technology at Vodafone, said: “We are committed to optimising all facets of our business, including our network infrastructure. After reviewing both legacy and emerging architectures, we decided for our EPC platforms that a virtualised solution from Affirmed Networks and VMware provides the network capacity and the service creation agility.”

Separately, Ericsson and Nokia announced fresh deployments and products in virtualisation ahead of Mobile World Congress.