Network function virtualisation (NFV) is one of the most important developments in the telecommunication industry at present. NFV represents a paradigm shift for the whole industry. It comes with considerable challenges, but also with opportunities for operators to entirely redesign their networks. The restructuring of network elements allows operators to become more agile and hence improve the efficiency of their networks. Hardware and software will be independent of one another. NFV will be one of the Telekom Austria Group’s key topics in 2015.
Successful field trials in Croatia and Bulgaria
The Telekom Austria Group is playing a leading role at the forefront of this industry-wide topic that is also meeting with an extremely positive response internationally. In 2014 the Group became one of the first operators in Europe to successfully test the new NFV technology in four field trials. The Croatian subsidiary Vipnet kicked off the field trials in early June 2014, followed by the Bulgarian subsidiary Mobiltel later the same month. Both trials involved a live demonstration of HD video streaming that was made possible by a combination of LTE- and NFV-based platforms. This served to illustrate how a virtualised infrastructure in future will allow customers to transfer smartphone and multimedia content to a cloud-based storage system and stream it directly.
Vip mobile demonstrates NFV on open-source solution in Serbia
The Telekom Austria Group successfully conducted another demonstration of NFV technology at its Serbian subsidiary Vip mobile in September 2014. This trial was based on an open-source IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) solution for the first time. As a starting point for virtualisation, IMS services are particularly suitable for applications in commercial networks as they encompass functions such as multi-ring, call jumping, wifi-to-GSM call continuity and virtual operator system (hosted PBX). With this move, the Telekom Austria Group has reached another important milestone on the way to network function virtualisation and taken the first step towards an open-source solution.
NFV enables VoLTE trial in Macedonia
NFV will change the way in which the telecommunication infrastructure is used and how applications are made available in future. For example, NFV technology enables mobile voice services over LTE (VoLTE) — as demonstrated recently in the Telekom Austria Group’s fourth field trial in the Republic of Macedonia in December 2014. Expanding the possibilities of the network means that NFV also increases cost efficiency. In addition, NFV significantly reduces the time from the development of new applications to their launch. The use of virtualised network applications on a shared infrastructure will lead to additional benefits in future. Accordingly, NFV is a new core area of the Telekom Austria Group’s technology strategy.