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The Rise of Virtual CPE

1/27/2015
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As NFV strategies evolve from tests and trials to production telco networks, expect to hear a lot about virtual CPE (customer premises equipment) rollouts during 2015.
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ajay_s
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ajay_s,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/30/2015 | 6:30:11 PM
vCPE
Agree that Virtual CPE is likely one of the first areas of deployment for NFV. Have seen folks use the term in the context of both residential and enterprise oriented services, and certainly opertaor activity in both segments.
patricknmoore
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patricknmoore,
User Rank: Lightning
1/29/2015 | 10:37:57 PM
Re: Makes Sense
Totally agree, both on the challenges of the firmware/software architecure on the CPE and that this is all about extending the network and cloud into the customer premise.  It is one of the most exciting areas right now in showcasing what well applied SDN and NFV components/technologies can bring to the market, in my opinion.  We are working in some pretty exciting times as we figure all of this out!
dfoote
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dfoote,
User Rank: Lightning
1/28/2015 | 1:52:42 PM
Re: Makes Sense
Patrick,


Yes, that is definitely an additional benefit.  I stayed at a high level with my original comments.  But we implemented a variety of scenarios for vCPE including modular, dynamic, downloadable/removable/upgradeable:

- diagnostics/operations tools and functions

- application related functions (example: home energy management, ehealth, etc.)

- home network monitoring/management functions (as you describe)

But one of the critical factors is the firmware/software architecture on the CPE to support this kind of modular, dynamic software environment that is envisioned with NFV (i.e. in my view, NFV in the CPE/network edge is not just about removing some functions from the CPE like NAT or firewall and running on general purpose servers at the edge, but is also about using the processing capacity and network/connected functionality of the CPE as an extension of the network edge server capacity).
patricknmoore
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patricknmoore,
User Rank: Lightning
1/28/2015 | 12:54:37 PM
Re: Makes Sense
Definitely agree with all of your points.  Another benefit that I have seen with lab trials of vCPE that we have been doing is that there can be an increased visibility into the home network as well.  Whereas today the customer can have an issue and the service provider can only help up to the point of the cable modem/DSL modem/router. There is the possibility, if architected to allow it, for the service provider to see the home devices on the network in a virtualized CPE scenario.  This opens up a world of possibilities for the future for improved support/customer satisfaction and for the coming wave of IoT devices/services.
dfoote
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dfoote,
User Rank: Lightning
1/27/2015 | 1:09:25 PM
Makes Sense
The expectation that vCPE will probably be the first or one of the first areas for real deployment of NFV by Service Providers (SPs) makes alot of sense.  vCPE touches on all three of the main values/benefits of NFV for SPs:

1. capex (scalabilty, cost savings, etc.)

2. opex (efficiency improvements, cost savings, etc.)

3. service velocity and agility (time to market for new services or feature/function improvements for existing services)

Plus vCPE allows SPs to deploy NFV in a somewhat isolated, limited, controlled portion of their networks and operations.  This reduces the broad range of downstream, upstream and sidestream implications or accompanying changes that would have to be handled in parallel along with the vCPE deployment itself as compared to deployment of NFV in other aspects of their networks.

 

 

 
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