The networks division of Nokia (NYSE:NOK) claims its new commercial telco cloud solution is compliant with network functions virtualization (NFV) for end-to-end voice over LTE (VoLTE) services. Further, an unnamed operator is slated to launch the cloud platform by year's end.
The company also rolled out its cloud network director, an orchestration tool to automatically deploy, configure, optimize and repair a set of virtualized network functions to simplify deployment of services such as VoLTE.
Nokia acknowledges that "many aspects of the telco cloud are not yet standardized," though the NFV working group of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) aims to harmonize various approaches to implement cloud-enabled solutions. And the vendor said its new cloud network director complies with the recently published ETSI NFV Management and Orchestration specification.
Nokia is implementing this orchestration functionality with an open northbound interface (NBI) for integration into operations and business support (OSS/BSS) tools. "This multi-vendor capability ensures telco clouds can be implemented flexibly to match mobile broadband operators' needs and integrate with existing systems," Nokia said.
Nokia's virtualized VoLTE announcement "is all about the operators building their own private cloud infrastructure to host network functions, including the functions required for VoLTE," said Sandro Tavares, head of marketing, mobile core, at Nokia Networks.
"The easiest way to scale a network function from now on will be if it is hosted on a private cloud infrastructure, so all you have to do is activate new blades and create new virtual machines to host the service," he told FierceWirelessTech.
Tavares declined to provide specifics regarding the operator launching the cloud platform this year, other than to say the carrier is using Nokia's platform for its first VoLTE service.
He noted the platform can be deployed alongside an existing VoLTE service that does not rely on cloud hosting. "Both solutions can coexist because the software solution is the same" in both Nokia's traditional architecture and the cloud architecture, Tavares said.
While Nokia's telco-cloud solution is starting off by virtualizing VoLTE, it can also be used to virtualize the network's evolved packet core (EPC), Tavares said. But he noted the massive payload of data overseen by the EPC makes virtualizing it less straightforward. It is also easier to prove the telco-cloud business case with VoLTE, which deals only with signaling.
Nokia also announced its "cloud wise" professional services. The vendor said this set of services will enable it to help operators migrate existing telco services to the cloud and deploy cloud applications, security solutions, software maintenance and operations support.
In addition, Nokia has crafted a telco cloud partner certification program for third-party software designed to work with the company's virtual network functions.
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