Affirmed Networks is lending its NFV cloud to Elephant Talk's SDN software to make a fully virtualized evolved packet core for operators in Europe and the Middle East.

Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms

December 22, 2014

2 Min Read
Affirmed & Elephant Talk Build a Virtual EPC

Managed SDN platform specialist Elephant Talk has added NFV capabilities from Affirmed Networks to its architecture, enabling the pair to offer virtualized evolved packet cores (EPCs) to mobile operators.

Elephant Talk Communications Corp. (NYSE MKT:ETAK) announced the addition of Affirmed Networks Inc. to its software platform, which also includes HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ), on Monday. Specifically, it's adding Affirmed's GGSN/DPI functionality for core networks to its Software DNA 2.0 core network management platform. The pair say the combo is already powering fully virtualized EPCs for operators of both 3G and 4G networks in Europe and the Middle East.

Affirmed is one of the vendors included in AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s Supplier Domain 2.0 program, although the US carrier wasn't among those named as an Elephant Talk customer in today's release. Elephant Talk says it's providing its virtualized core network management platform to Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) in Spain, Zain Group in the Middle East and Grupo Iusacell S.A. de C.V. in Latin America. (See AT&T Adds Brocade, Ciena, Cisco to Its SDN, NFV Program and AT&T's Cloud Future Takes Shape.)

For more on virtualization, head over to the carrier SDN content channel on Light Reading.

Why this matters
Virtualizing the EPC is an important priority for any wireless operator pursuing SDN and NFV. Deploying a standard software platform to replace custom hardware in the EPC boosts the potential for faster time to market for new services, operational flexibility and cost savings. Having actual operator deployments under their belts is good validation for Affirmed Networks and Elephant Talk -- which are competing against bigger names such as Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) -- and also provides reference points for virtualized EPCs in general.

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— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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About the Author(s)

Sarah Thomas

Director, Women in Comms

Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.

She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.

As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.

Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.

Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.

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