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
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
Flash Poll
From The Founder
The New IP is actually bigger even than business. Like another hugely important tech that Light Reading is digging into right now, the New IP has the potential to change the world by fundamentally advancing what it is possible for people to achieve with communications.
Between the CEOs
EXCLUSIVE: Cisco's Chambers on Reinvention

3|3|15   |   8:24   |   (1) comment


Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders talks transformation and virtualization – including Light Reading's independent testing of the vendor's virtualization solutions – with Cisco CEO John Chambers at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
LRTV Documentaries
The Three Cs of MWC15

3|2|15   |   2:33   |   (1) comment


My visit to this year's Mobile World Congress is going to dominated by three Cs – cloud, cells and coffee.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Shares Its Vision of the Future of Mobile Networks Innovations

2|26|15   |   2:30   |   (0) comments


Mobile broadband is changing our lives. It's reshaping the Internet, industry, and society. It allows us to freely connect with one another anytime, anywhere. At this year's Mobile World Congress, Huawei will share its latest insights and newest ideas and technologies that will shape the future of MBB. They will showcase their end-to-end MBB solutions that will ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accelerate Digitizing, Boost Digital Business

2|26|15   |   6:14   |   (0) comments


A new digital revolution is leading us to a better connected world. Together with millions of digital partners, Huawei will help CSPs to build their digital service ecosystem and aggregate a wide variety of digital services. In this video, we find out how Huawei is going to help CSPs implement digital operations.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Secret Recipe to Enabling Hyper-Growth Industries

2|26|15   |   3:38   |   (0) comments


With a number of successful cases on network capability exposure, Huawei is going to share the secret recipe to enabling hyper-growth markets with a step-by-step approach.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE 2015 Is Bigger & Even Better

2|25|15   |   03:13   |   (4) comments


This year's Big Telecom Event (BTE) in Chicago is going to provide more opportunities than ever for networking, getting to grips with key industry challenges and opportunities and, equally as important, having some fun.
LRTV Interviews
Light Reading ICT Leaders Roundtable at MWC 2015

2|12|15   |   1:07   |   (2) comments


On Sunday March 1, 2015, Light Reading will host an ICT Leaders Roundtable in partnership with Huawei. At this half-day event, CIOs, analysts and researchers will discuss key industry trends like virtualization in the cloud with a specific focus on new business models. Located at the luxurious Renaissance Hotel near the Fira Barcelona, space is limited so please ...
LRTV Documentaries
Going Green in 2015

2|12|15   |   02:04   |   (0) comments


Energy efficiency is set to be an incredibly hot topic in the telecom industry this year.
LRTV Custom TV
SDN & NFV: Where Are We Going From Here?

2|11|15   |   11:27   |   (0) comments


Vitesse Semiconductor CTO Martin Nuss gives his perspective on why SDN and NFV should be tightly interconnected and how he sees the industry moving forward.
LRTV Documentaries
Time for Gigabit Europe?

2|9|15   |   01:27   |   (4) comments


Gigabit broadband networks are springing up all around the US and they'll soon become more commonplace in Europe.
LRTV Interviews
Brocade Brings New IP Vision to 2020 Vision Executive Summit

2|3|15   |   4:23   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Light Reading gathered telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Brocade's Kelly Herrell shared his company's strategy at ...
LRTV Interviews
Brocade's Kelly Herrell on the New IP

2|2|15   |   12:36   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Brocade VP of Software Networking Kelly Herrell at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Brocade's approach to the New IP, the future of the telecom industry, and more.
Upcoming Live Events
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Net neutrality, broadband services and the current outlook on data consumption, as presented by the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Hot Topics
Internet Pioneers Decry Title II Rules
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/2/2015
Small Cells Enabling Location Services
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/25/2015
Verizon Takes Radio Dot to Detroit, VoLTE Overseas
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/27/2015
FCC Adopts Title II Rules
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/26/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Check out Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he had to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.