Telekom Austria Deploys World’s First Fully Virtualized Stack

Telekom-Austria-Deploys-World's-First-Fully-Virtualized-StackIn a world first, Telekom Austria Group today announced that its Serbian subsidiary, Vip mobile, has successfully demonstrated the first fully virtualized stack in a commercial network.

The showcase demonstration included virtualized EPC by Connectem, Metaswitch´s Project Clearwater, an open-source IMS core and virtualized VoLTE AS by OpenCloud.

After having conducted a series of successful trials 2014 in Bulgaria, Croatia, the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Macedonia showing vEPC, vIMS and vVOLTE solutions, the Group is now the first operator worldwide to demonstrate a fully virtualized stack in a live network.

In previous trials, Telekom Austria Group looked in detail at virtualized network functions individually, however with this trial it has chosen to virtualize the entire core network production chain of a voice over LTE service.

Instead of being received and processed by dedicated hardware equipment with dedicated software running on it, the data will now terminate in a general purpose IT data center running Intel x86 hardware and virtualization services. On top of the virtualization services, software will be deployed that provides the necessary processing for the delivery of VoLTE in a virtualized environment.

Mobility and data session control are being handled by a virtualized Evolved Packet Core (EPC) solution provided by the start-up company, Connectem. This guarantees that a subscriber is being served by a mobile network and keeps its service up and running while being on the move.

A call control for setting up calls, negotiating media formats and terminating calls is handled by a virtualized IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) based on the Clearwater solution from the company Metaswitch. The desired features of a phone system are provided by the virtualized VoLTE Application Server (AS) from the company OpenCloud. Both together ensure that customers can call one another and exchange information on a variety of media.

This is the first time that the entire core network stack is deployed virtualized, from the virtualized EPC through the virtualized and Open Source based IMS to the virtualized VoLTE Application Server. With its deployment in VIP mobile’s commercial network, Telekom Austria Group proves that the technology is ready for prime time, an important puzzle piece for Telekom Austria Group considering that it is at the same time tendering the virtual EPC for deployment in its networks.

Guenther Ottendorfer, CTO, Telekom Austria Group said, “NFV is a paradigm shift for the global telecom industry but also shows that the game the industry is playing is only about to begin, with numerous innovations on the horizon which will further enhance the customer´s experience. NFV has signaled a new optimism within the industry, with the potential of offering huge opportunities to reengineer and optimize network infrastructure and deliver better service for our customers.”

Dejan Kastelic, CTO, Vip mobile said, “We are more than proud that Vip mobile achieved another successful NFV deployment. Being the youngest mobile operator and challenger in the market, we always seek new opportunities to reshape the innovation landscape both in the local and regional markets.”

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