Affirmed Claims Mobile NFV Customers, Trials
Startup Affirmed Networks says its mobile network virtualization software is in commercial use with 10 carriers and undergoing about 15 trials with carriers around the world.
Affirmed Networks Inc. says that its AN3000 platform is software that can be used on standard blade servers to replace several legacy hardware boxes in the mobile network. NFV (network functions virtualization) software attempts to make the network cheaper and simpler by taking functions that were handled by dedicated hardware boxes and handling it via software on servers. (See Defining SDN & NFV.)
Affirmed also offers a management console so that operators can view and manage different data flows and services. "It's truly a virtualized solution, truly an NFV solution, something that does service orchestration," Affirmed CEO Hassan Ahmed tells Light Reading. (See Affirmed Brings Smarts to Mobile Data Flows.)
Ahmed says he is pleased by the traction that NFV is now seeing in the industry. "We have probably about 15 or 20 trials that are still active [and] around 10 or so commercial deployments, some with tier-one operators," he says.
The company has the most of these in Europe, "because that's what our focus was on early on, "he says, adding that the company also has commercial engagements in North America and Asia.
Ahmed says that the Acton, Mass.-based startup is not looking for more funding at the moment. The firm has pulled in $103 million since it was founded in 2010. (See June Mobile VC: $795M in Funding.)
"Weíre also starting to drive sales, so, you know, some of these commercial deployments are starting to make money," he quips when we ask about new funding.
The CEO doesn't expect to face a wave of competition from new mobile NFV startups coming out of the woodwork either. "Venture guys are not going to be funding a lot of copy-cat guys because the telecoms industry is more mature than it was in the nineties," he states.
Rather Affirmed's task will be to convince operators to move off the legacy hardware to a virtualized software platform. To that end, Affirmed has kept updating its platform and has been adding more management, reporting, content handling, and content optimization functions.
The startup tests the performance and reliability of its software to show that it can scale. "We'll run stress call rates where we might run a few hundred million sessions, a couple of billion proxy transactions simultaneously," Ahmed claims.
"We're a good citizen of this industry. We're moving the ball forward," the CEO says.
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading