TOKYO -- NTT DOCOMO, INC. announced today that it has completed development of the world's first network function virtualization (NFV) technology that can run Evolved Packet Core (EPC) software from multiple vendors to enhance connectivity in high-volume areas. DOCOMO plans to deploy the technology on its network starting this March.
NFV technology enables communication software originally designed for dedicated hardware to run on virtualized hardware. It will help to ensure stable network operation by improving connectivity when data volume is high, as well as following natural disasters or in the event of hardware failures. It is expected to accelerate delivery of new services and enhance the efficiency of infrastructure investment by enabling software from multiple vendors and hardware to be combined openly in a mobile network.
"Multi-vendor NFV technology, once regarded as pie in the sky, will now be deployed commercially on our mobile network," said Seizo Onoe, DOCOMO's Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. "Many NFV technologies already deployed still rely on single vendor, so we expect this truly multi-vendor NFV technology will be a long-awaited game-changer in the mobile industry's ecosystem."
The new technology complies with specifications set by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute's Industry Specifications Group for NFV.
DOCOMO also plans to deploy software-defined networking (SDN) technology to make IP network flexible in accordance with the introduction of NFV. It enables to maximize above-mentioned advantages of NFV.
Going forward, DOCOMO expects to virtualize many other key components of its mobile network, aiming at eventually establishing a fully virtualized network.
NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NYSE: DCM)