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China Mobile, Alcatel-Lucent to Demo NFV at MWC14

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SHANGHAI -- China Mobile, the largest mobile operator in the world, and Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU), are demonstrating their progress in the development of network functions virtualization (NFV) for mobile operators. Using Alcatel-Lucent’s virtualized proof of concept LTE radio access network (RAN) Baseband Unit (BBU) and its virtualized evolved packet core (vEPC) in a multi-vendor environment, the companies are showing how an open mobile cloud network enhances agility, efficiency and scale.

Visitors to China Mobile’s booth at Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona are able to make voice and video calls with voice over LTE (VoLTE) capable handsets. These services are enabled by a multi-vendor cloud network including:

  • Alcatel-Lucent’s virtualized proof of concept LTE RAN BBU uses COTS (Commercial-Off-The-Shelf) parts including hardware components, software components and commercial LTE protocols. The solution was developed as part of the Cloud-RAN (C-RAN) program initiated by China Mobile. Alcatel-Lucent and China Mobile signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop C-RAN in 2011.
  • Alcatel-Lucent’s vEPC operating with other virtualized core network functions in a multi-vendor environment. This will be onboarded, managed and orchestrated within the virtual environment by the latest version of Alcatel-Lucent’s NFV platform - CloudBand 2.0.

    China Mobile has more than 700 million subscribers and operates a large scale TD-LTE overlay network in which Alcatel-Lucent is a prime vendor. It is driving NFV for the creation of a greener, more agile and efficient network. This will allow it to reduce costs and automate service life-cycle management to quickly deliver high-quality services on a huge scale.

    Alcatel-Lucent is focusing on its leadership in IP Networking and Ultra-Broadband Access, as announced in The Shift Plan, to advance industry development of NFV and deliver on its cloud shift vision. In doing so it will help its customers build a better, more flexible cloud using carrier-grade virtualized networks that operate over any standard computing hardware and open source software environment. Alcatel-Lucent’s virtualized solutions will use the same field-proven, feature-rich product software in its hardware-based solutions. This will allow mobile operators to transition smoothly to an open, cloud-based network environment at a speed that meets their needs, with improved agility and network scalability and reduced costs.

    Dr. Chihlin I, Chief Scientist of CMCC Research Institute, said “China Mobile and Alcatel-Lucent have a long history of working together to deliver innovative solutions that push the boundaries of telecoms and our work on NFV is no exception. Here we are demonstrating how a cloud network environment can help us deliver services faster and better to even greater numbers of people. This will help us meet the explosion in demand for mobile data and allow us to innovate even further with new service offerings.”

    Dave Geary, President of Alcatel-Lucent’s wireless business: “As IP Networking and Ultra-Broadband Access specialists, we are delivering carrier grade solutions to some of the largest LTE networks in the world, helping customers such as China Mobile manage the unprecedented demand being placed on their networks today. Having started work on our own virtualization plans before the NFV initiative was founded we are heavily investing in delivering open carrier-grade virtualized solutions and have a real understanding of what is needed in a cloud environment. We are very pleased to have this opportunity to work with China Mobile at Mobile World Congress to show the benefits of this type of solution working in a complete multi-vendor cloud network environment.”

    Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU)

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