ACTON, Mas. -- Affirmed Networks, the leader in virtualized mobile networks, today announced another market disruption by offering Evolved Packet Data Gateway (ePDG) and Trusted Wi-Fi Access Gateway (TWAG) functionality that enable fixed and mobile operators to offer virtualized Wi-Fi access as part of their overall network experience. The combination of Wi-Fi with cellular services on a single platform allows operators unified Radio Access Network (RAN) access for mobile services, and allows fixed and mobile operators to expand their network coverage, add new services, such as Wi-Fi calling, and improve the overall consumer experience.
“Today, most consumers are within Wi-Fi coverage anywhere between 80-90% of the time, which has made VoWiFi the next ‘killer app’ for operators looking to integrate Wi-Fi services as part of their overall network service offering,” said Ray Mota, principal analyst, ACG Research. “We believe virtualized infrastructures represent the ideal architecture for VoWiFi services, and estimate that operators that deploy VoWiFi over a virtualized infrastructure can experience 50% + savings in Total Cost of Ownership, enhanced levels of security and scalability, and numerous advantages from an ease of deployment perspective.”
Today, more than half of all mobile traffic (60%) is carried over Wi-Fi networks in homes, offices and public places from coffee shops to shopping malls, yet operators have been challenged to effectively integrate Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) and other data services into their networks. With the number of Wi-Fi hotspots expected to continue to grow significantly, fixed and mobile service providers now recognize the strategic necessity of bringing Wi-Fi access into their network experience.
With this introduction, Affirmed Networks is delivering a carrier-grade virtualized Wi-Fi solution that delivers the scalability and encryption required for operators to increase the number of IPSEC-encrypted sessions on demand without the need of specialized hardware. Until now, telecom solutions requiring IPSEC were tied to dedicated hardware to support the high capacity encryption needs of Wi-Fi deployments. To achieve this, Affirmed Networks combined its expertise in virtualizing network elements with an industry-first solution on the IPSEC encryption front.
“Affirmed Networks’ innovation is focused on providing solutions that directly address business challenges and help create new opportunities for our customers. Our work with Intel® Technologies allows us to ensure that our technical innovation remains at the ‘world-class’ level that our customers deserve,” said Angela Whiteford, Affirmed Networks’ Vice President of Marketing and Product Management. “Mobile operators are investing heavily to gain new customers and to remain profitable and must keep churn to a minimum. By providing operators with virtualized Wi-Fi capabilities, not only can they begin to offer revenue-driving services, they also significantly improve network coverage, and the overall customer experience as a result. Wi-Fi also provides a valuable ‘offload’ option that operators are utilizing to improve overall network utilization.”
The Affirmed Networks fully virtualized Wi-Fi gateway takes advantages of hardware and software advances from Intel, including Intel AES New Instructions (Intel AES-NI) and Intel Multi-Buffer Crypto for IPsec Library. These advances enable the delivery of a high-performance, fully-virtualized IPsec-enabled ePDG on standard high-volume servers. In particular, new capabilities associated with the performance gains provide accelerated data encryption and greater levels of security.
“Network security is a critical issue for service providers,” said Renu Navale, director, Intel Network Builders. “Robust and scalable encryption capabilities in Intel platforms will help accelerate the development of high-performance virtualized security appliances. Our work with Affirmed Networks is an excellent example of how we collaborate with Intel Network Builders members to deliver optimized solutions for comms networks.”
With more than 25 customers, and 40 trials underway, Affirmed Networks continues to lead the industry in the deployment of virtualized mobile networks. Through the introduction of a fully virtualized Wi-Fi gateway offering, Affirmed Networks is continuing to deliver disruptive technology solutions aimed at operators looking to embrace virtualized architectures.
Affirmed Network’s Mobile Content Cloud solution is currently deployed in some of the world’s largest mobile service provider networks. Affirmed Networks’ new Wi-Fi gateway has been developed on top of the Affirmed Mobile Content Cloud, where it inherits proven mobile gateway functionality.
As a result, operators fixed and mobile can now deploy a complete, secure Wi-Fi gateway solution —Trusted WLAN Access Gateway/Proxy (TWAG/TWAP) and evolved Packet Data Gateway (ePDG)—on consolidated, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware. By reducing the number of “boxes” on the network, this approach further reduces complexity and cost, providing operators with a proven, centralized, virtual solution that can be scaled across geographies.