NFV Elements

HPE Lands NFV, PCRF Deals

Hewlett Packard Enterprise got a jump on Mobile World Congress news Friday, announcing technology deals with Swisscom, which is using some of the vendor's NFV solutions, and Argentina's Telecom Personal, which is deploying policy and subscriber management tools.

The Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) deal provides virtual CPE technology, while the Telecom Personal one uses traditional appliances for user tracking, but with options for future NFV growth. Hewlett Packard Enterprise announced the deals on Friday, in advance of Mobile World Congress, which kicks off in Barcelona on Monday.

Swisscom is using HPE OpenNFV to deploy virtual customer premises equipment (vCPE) to small and midsized business customers initially, with an eye toward rolling them out to enterprises in the future, HPE says. The vCPEs will replace dedicated physical appliances, reducing capex and enhancing agility -- hallmarks of New IP networks. (See Hewlett Packard Enterprise Virtualizes Network Functions for Swisscom .)

Swisscom will use HPE Virtual Services Router for managing firewall and routing, HPE Service Director for orchestration, and HPE Technology Services for consulting and implementation to deploy a low-cost vCPE solution, HPE says. The vendor is also providing OpenStack, the Virtualized Infrastructure Manager (VIM), and integrating third-party technologies -- Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) remote access VNF, and Juniper MX5 router.

"We took what was a CPE on-premises service and pulled it into the cloud, for significant capex savings and significant opex savings," Dave Sliter, VP & GM, communications and media solutions for HPE, tells Light Reading. The deployment reduced capex fivefold, and significantly improved operating expenses.

The virtualized services also enable the operator to reduce its time-to-market, according to HPE. Swisscom can launch new services in a few weeks, compared with nine months previously, with individual instantiations going online in five minutes rather than 30 days. Customers can try services for a short time, and scale up and down as needed, Sliter says.

"It's kind of neat that they can get new revenue streams in terms of connectivity in time frames and cost points they could never do before," Sliter says.

The Swisscom service rolls out in coming weeks to test customers, and will ramp up in later months.

The services to be deployed are two managed LAN services based on Aruba Networks technology, for user and access point management, and an SDN VPN using technology HPE acquired when it purchased ConteXtream. (See HP Sets Sail for Aruba and HP Acquiring ConteXtream for Carrier SDN.)

In Argentina, Telecom Personal is using HPE technology to support its 4G business, using standard interfaces to share subscriber data with third-party network and business systems, HPE says. (See Telecom Personal Selects Hewlett Packard Enterprise for 4G/LTE Network.)

Telecom Personal will use HPE's Policy and Charging Rules Function (PCRF) to determine network configuration and charging definitions for subscribers and HPE's Home Subscriber Register/Home Location Register to deliver subscriber profiles for authentication and authorization.

In addition it is deploying HPE's User Data Repository (UDR) provides network agnostic, centralized management of subscriber information: The UDR permits sharing subscriber data with billing systems, CRM, email, OSS/BSS and other third party systems. "Customers more and more have wireless, wireline, and cable TV and other services; carriers want a single view of the subscriber and interface into multiple systems," Sliter says. For example, a customer who's paid to watch a particular video event might be eligible to watch on cable or mobile, and carriers need to manage the customer's ability to do both.

Telecom Personal serves more than 22 million customers in Argentina and Paraguay.

The Telecom Personal implementation is based on traditional appliances, but can easily be migrated to NFV in the future, which was part of the attraction for Telecom Personal, says Sliter.

"A customer working with us today can move into the virtual world if they feel comfortable with that," says Werner Schaefer, VP Sales & GTM, Communications Solutions Business, HPE.

"We do have the VNF versions of these," Sliter says. But they're still in PoC and small pilot stage. "Because of the six-nine aspects of these services, very few operators want to go VNF in these types of deployments. If this stuff fails, your mobile phone doesn't work."

The Telecom Personal infrastructure will be rolled out over the next several months.

Telecom Personal needed the upgrade to accommodate LTE. Its existing 3G and older networks are expensive to operate, Sliter says.

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HPE says it has more than 30 telco customers with more than 600 million subscribers using the technology Telecom Personal is deploying.

This isn't the first time HPE has rolled out reference customers in or around MWC. Last year, prior to Hewlett-Packard splitting into two companies, the vendor announced a big win with Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) to provide NFV integration services and technology for the carrier's Unica virtualization project. (See Telefónica Taps HP for Unica NFV.)

But Light Reading disclosed in December that Telefónica was ditching HPE as the lead technology provider and systems integrator. (See Telefónica Ditches HPE as Virtualization Lead and Who Might Replace HPE at Telefónica?.)

HPE, however, says it's still working with Telefónica. (See HPE Will 'Continue to Work With Telefónica' on Unica.)

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— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to [email protected]

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