Affirmed: 5G-Ready Core Is Table Stakes for Operators

The decomposed core is an expectation, not a pipe-dream.

Dan Jones, Mobile Editor

August 11, 2016

2 Min Read
Affirmed: 5G-Ready Core Is Table Stakes for Operators

Even if most of the hype behind 5G is around high-frequency radios these days, startup Affirmed says that operators are already thinking about deploying a next-generation core, well ahead of the arrival of the future radio access network (RAN).

Affirmed Networks Inc. revealed back in the spring that it has what it calls a "5G architecture." Angela Whiteford, VP of marketing and product management at Affirmed, recently told Light Reading that it helps that its software has been built around the virtualization concept from the beginning. Features like a "decomposed service and user plane" are now expected by carriers looking to future-proof their networks for 5G. (See Core Blimey! Affirmed Eyes 5G Services Evolution Next.)

Splitting the control and data planes is a crucial part of a 5G core architecture. This essentially means that in next-generation networks -- that are expected to support massive Internet of Things (IoT) services, video offerings, and more -- the user element is as close to the subscriber as possible, while the control plane can be centralized. (See The Secret of the 5G Bandwagon: SDN Is the Engine.)

For all the latest news on 5G, visit the 5G site here on Light Reading.

Affirmed is expecting to show off more of its 5G work at Mobile World Congress in 2017.

All of this -- and more -- recently came into play in Affirmed's deal with Abu Dhabi-based Tier 1 operator Etisalat , which used Affirmed's virtualized Evolved Packet Core (vEPC) to make its first live LTE data and voice calls on its cloud platform in April this year.

Whiteford notes that the operator is also using its ePDG gateway as part of its overall bid to further "cloudify" its network. Etisalat will use it as part of introducing WiFi calling on its network. (See Affirmed Intros Virtualized Wi-Fi Gateway.)

The operator is also planning to use Affirmed systems to spin up services around connected cars, the IoT and smart cities.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Dan Jones

Mobile Editor

Dan is to hats what Will.I.Am is to ridiculous eyewear. Fedora, trilby, tam-o-shanter -- all have graced the Jones pate during his career as the go-to purveyor of mobile essentials.

But hey, Dan is so much more than 4G maps and state-of-the-art headgear. Before joining the Light Reading team in 2002 he was an award-winning cult hit on Broadway (with four 'Toni' awards, two 'Emma' gongs and a 'Brian' to his name) with his one-man show, "Dan Sings the Show Tunes."

His perfectly crafted blogs, falling under the "Jonestown" banner, have been compared to the works of Chekhov. But only by Dan.

He lives in Brooklyn with cats.

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