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Ericsson-LG and SK Telecom are partnering on NFV, SDN

Ericsson-LG and SK Telecom are partnering on NFV, SDN

Ericsson-LG today announced a pledge with SK Telecom, to cooperate on R&D aimed at utilising Software Defined Networking (SDN), Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) and cloud, in a move aimed towards preparing the next generation of mobile network architecture.

Both SDN and NFV, aggregated with the cloud, are being increasingly viewed as the building blocks of future service provider networks. Efficient management of network traffic, significant Opex and Capex savings, and automated management of increasingly complex network architectures are seen as the core value propositions behind their adoption.

Orchestration of complex network infrastructure in a virtualised paradigm, SK Telecom said, is one of several fundamental technologies which will help to enable 5G.

“Orchestration of integrated network services is a key for the next-generation 5G network. It is an essential technology to maximise efficiency and automation of an increasingly advanced and complex network, and revitalise a 5G network service ecosystem based on a user-centric, open network” said Park Jin-hyo, who heads up SK Telecom’s network technology R&D centre.

The emphasis on cloud-based orchestration is a cornerstone of the project, as Ericsson-LG CEO, Martin Wiktorin, elaborated: “To efficiently manage explosive growth in data traffic, flexible network operation is critical. We are very pleased to forge an R&D partnership with SK Telecom, which would help optimise use of communication networks and facilitate a transition towards a more flexible network”.

In July, Australian telco Telstra announced their partnership with Ericsson to trial NFV when applied to customer premises equipment, effectively reducing the amount of physical hardware required at the customer’s office or residency. The vCPE, or “virtual home gateway”, is intended to help customers to simplify their devices and hardware configuration at home.

In 2013, SK Telecom worked closely with NSN in one of the early NFV proof-of-concept trials. The PoC itself was designed to implement NFV within core network architecture, and showed successful results for capacity scaling for both throughput and signalling traffic in connection with smartphone usage patterns. If their aforementioned projects are anything to go by, an Ericsson/SK Telecom partnership should prove fruitful.