Light Reading

Carriers Peer Into Virtual World

Ray Le Maistre
1/23/2013
50%
50%

Interest in the potential offered by software-defined networking (SDN) is growing rapidly among major telcos, if the membership of the recently formed Industry Specifications Group focused on Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), which has just held its first official meeting, is anything to go by.

The group was formed late last year by a core group of major carriers -- see Carriers Collaborate on Network of the Future -- but has now grown to include 18 operators (NTT is represented by two separate units). A handful of those operators are "participants," as they are not full members of European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), which has created and hosts the Industry Specifications Group. (ETSI stresses, though, that any company can join the group.)

Those members and participants are exploring the potential gains that virtualization of multiple network functions might be able to deliver: In theory, reduced capex and opex, quicker time to market, greater flexibility and a more competitive supplier ecosystem are all potential advantages, but the operators want to figure whether these can be realized, or if they're just wishful thinking.

That concern was clearly explored during the group's first meeting, held near ETSI's headquarters in the south of France from Jan. 15-17 and attended by more than 140 executives, when the topic of "reliability of network functional virtualization" was discussed. (See Telcos Turn Spotlight on Virtualization.)

Other areas of focus included the extension of OSS data models to support virtual network appliances, the provision of network service using NFV service APIs (application programming interfaces) and the nature of common hardware network elements for virtualized nodes (among many more).

During that meeting, the group elected Dr. Prodip Sen of Verizon Communications Inc. as its chairman (for two years), Uwe Michel of Deutsche Telekom AGas vice chair, and Don Clarke of BT Group plc as technical manager.

The carriers currently involved are (full member status unless noted otherwise):

In addition, China Mobile Ltd. was one of the operators involved at the group's inception and it is believed to still be involved, but is not currently named as a member or participant.

But while the operators are in the driving seat, they're not alone: Major hardware and software vendors and systems integrators, including Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson AB, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and Nokia Siemens Networks, but not ZTE Corp. currently, are also members of the group.

In a statement outlining the aims of the group, ETSI noted that the group will "develop requirements and architecture specifications for the hardware and software infrastructure required to support ... virtualized functions, as well as guidelines for developing network functions. This effort will incorporate existing virtualization technologies and existing standards as appropriate and will co-ordinate with ongoing work in other standards committees. The first specifications are expected before the end of 2013."

Making sense of NFV and figuring out how new technologies such as SDN protocol OpenFlow can exist in wide area networks is a key challenge for the industry this year, as Heavy Reading Chief Analyst Graham Finnie noted in the title of his recent note, 2012 Belonged to SDN & NFV. But Will They Deliver in 2013?

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
bmaddalone
50%
50%
bmaddalone,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/25/2013 | 9:40:30 PM
re: Carriers Peer Into Virtual World
It's great to finally have all these companies on board with SDN, but does the industry really need yet another specifications group? -áIf the old ones aren't working any longer, then they should be disbanded in preference to new ones such as this one. -á
From The Founder
Light Reading sits down at CES with the head of Cisco's service provider video business, Conrad Clemson, to discuss how NFV and cloud security relate to video, the challenge of managing 4K/8K traffic, the global expansion of Netflix and virtual reality.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Custom TV
Hosting in Ireland, Past & Present

2|10|16   |   16:07   |   (0) comments


Garry Connolly, president of Host in Ireland, presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Dublin.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
What's Hot in Mobile Commerce?

2|10|16   |   12:18   |   (1) comment


Claire Maslen, financial services relationship manager at the GSMA, talks about the development of the digital commerce sector and the types of relationships that mobile operators are developing to further their m-commerce strategies.
LRTV Documentaries
EANTC Tests Nokia IP Routing & Mobile Gateway VNFs for Real World Deployment

2|9|16   |   5:08   |   (0) comments


Nokia obtained validation of its virtualized router and virtualized mobile gateway capabilities through rigorous testing performed by EANTC. The results set a new industry benchmark for outstanding performance, scalability, resiliency and manageability. Nokia VNFs are ready for telco cloud deployment, so that service providers can accelerate mobile, business and ...
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Level 3's Jack Waters

2|8|16   |   26:15   |   (1) comment


Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders sits down with Level 3 Communications' CTO Jack Waters to discuss hot topics like virtualization, 4K and the future of telecom...
LRTV Custom TV
The Composable Telco

2|8|16   |   24:46   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Principal Analyst Caroline Chappell presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Dublin.
LRTV Custom TV
Join Us at the Digital Operations Transformation Summit

2|4|16   |   03:52   |   (0) comments


The Digital Operations Transformation Summit on February 21, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Barcelona Fira Centre will bring together 50 senior executives to engage in a unique debate on the opportunities and challenges presented by the transformative evolving digital landscape. RSVP now at events@lightreading.com.
LRTV Custom TV
Making the Test: ADVA Ensemble Connector vs. Open vSwitch

2|4|16   |   01:28   |   (0) comments


Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, recently tested ADVA's Ensemble Connector, which replaces open vSwitch and offers carrier-grade capability and interoperability. The test results strengthen ADVA's credibility as a provider in the virtualization space.
LRTV Custom TV
Bridging the Gap Between PoCs & Deployment in NFV

2|4|16   |   31:50   |   (0) comments


Charlie Ashton of Wind River presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Dublin.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Mike Aquino

2|3|16   |   17:34   |   (0) comments


The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Shades of Ray
MWC: Buckle Up for 5G & the IIoT

2|2|16   |   02:28   |   (0) comments


This year's Mobile World Congress looks set to be a 5G land grab and a chance to get down and dirty with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – but what will the 5G discussions actually be about?
LRTV Custom TV
Case Study: Building China's Next-Gen TV Networks

2|2|16   |   5:01   |   (0) comments


With over 2 billion viewers worldwide, Shenzhen Media Group is one of China's largest content producers. By partnering with Huawei and Sobey, SZMG was able to modernize media operations with the Converged News Center, a production studio that is a model for next-generation workflows.
LRTV Custom TV
Quad Channel Modulator Driver with 46 Gbaud Capability from MACOM

1|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


MACOM's MAOM-003427 is the industry's first surface-mount modulator driver with 46 Gbaud capability to support next generation 200G and 400G applications.
Upcoming Live Events
March 10, 2016, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 5, 2016, The Ritz Carlton, Charlotte, NC
May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Google's 5G Radio Ambitions Are Expanding
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/5/2016
Cincinnati Bell Joins Weight Watchers Club
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/5/2016
Yahoo & Verizon Sitting in a Tree...
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 2/8/2016
Vodafone: Flexible Work Policies Boost Profits
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/8/2016
It's Time to Integrate OTT Video
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/8/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders sits down with Level 3 Communications' CTO Jack Waters to discuss hot topics like virtualization, 4K and the future of telecom...
The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Animals with Phones
Retro Is the Way to Be Click Here
Some animals are too cute for smartphones.
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and G.fast for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.