Huawei and China Telecom are claiming an industry first with the completion of virtualized customer premises equipment trials aimed at simplifying deployment for enterprise customers.
This claim might be disputed by companies such as CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) and RAD Data Communications Ltd. , which have been two of the companies involved in a proof-of-concept trial that led to deployment of virtual firewalls. In addition, Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) revealed last October that it was preparing an NFV CPE test in Brazil with NEC Corp. (Tokyo: 6701) (See Telefónica Preps NFV Trial and NFV Gets Practical at BTE.)
But their announcement is, at the very least, confirmation that virtual CPE is likely an early business case for NFV deployment. Operators can spend billions of dollars installing and maintaining customer premises equipment (CPE) for enterprise customers with multiple disparate boxes often needed at the customer's office or campus. Virtual CPE (vCPE) moves common functions up to the operator's network with a simple server at the customer premises. (See Virtualization to Transform CPE.)
"Through this live network test of vCPE, we have realized the immense benefits of Network Functions Virtualization to carriers," says Chen Yunqing, VP of China Telecom Corp. Ltd. (NYSE: CHA)'s Beijing Research Institute in a statement "This provides software and hardware support for future development and deployment of integrated Cloud services, helping carriers address challenges from cloud computing and big data."
The pair say that the completion of the trials represents the first step towards commercialization of the enterprise vCPE. The two parties say they are also exploring the commercialization of NFV and SDN on carrier networks.
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading