Nokia, China Unicom kick off network trial based on Virtualized Services Router

Nokia is conducting a trial with China Unicom using the Nokia Virtualized Services Router (VSR).

China Unicom is moving to SDN and NFV in a big way, with a live trial in its commercial network underway using Nokia’s Virtualized Services Router (VSR).

Operators worldwide are moving to more virtualization, and this project will allow China Unicom to add new customers and launch services faster and more efficiently.

The trial involves more than 5,000 residential subscriber. Specifically, it allows China Unicom to simplify and accelerate the delivery of residential broadband using a new, agile and flexible network based on virtualized network functions (VNFs).

The initial trial is being carried out in the province of Shandong and will expand to the other parts of the country over the next two years as it evolves to the next phase, which will include delivery of IPTV services.

The trial uses the Nokia VSR as a next-generation, virtualized Broadband Network Gateway (BNG) for residential subscriber management functions and advanced service capabilities. As part of its initiative to transform its metro service edge, China Unicom plans to migrate massive BNG services to the virtualized platform to leverage the opportunities of the cloud era.

"We are proud to be a part of China Unicom's initiative to evolve its metro edge to a cloud-centric architecture,” Sri Reddy, head of IP Routing and Packet Core business at Nokia, said in a press release. “The Nokia VSR provides delivery of broad and rich virtualized IP edge applications with superior performance and enhanced scalability. Upon completion of this network transformation project, China Unicom will ensure increased operational efficiency and deliver a superior customer experience for its subscribers."

China Unicom is adopting SDN and NFV to enhance efficiency, agility, openness and scaling capabilities to evolve to a cloud-ready network.

Nokia reports its first-quarter earnings on Thursday. Rival Ericsson on Tuesday reported another bad quarter where it lost more than $1 billion. Both companies are grappling with a world that’s increasing relying on open source software rather than proprietary hardware.

Nokia announced in 2014 that it was the first vendor to supply a commercial telco cloud solution compliant with ETSI NFV architecture for end-to-end VoLTE services.  

This past November, Telefonica Business Solutions, which serves the B2B market, announced it was deploying Nokia's virtualized router edge technology to increase its network reach, accelerate deployment of its enterprise VPN services and extend its service offerings to new points of presence within Spain and to new countries.