Samsung Beats Rivals to SK Telecom NFV Deal

The South Korean mobile operator will use Samsung's NFV technology in a nationwide IoT network.

Iain Morris, International Editor

February 6, 2015

3 Min Read
Samsung Beats Rivals to SK Telecom NFV Deal

Samsung claims to have beaten off competition from several other vendors to secure a major NFV deal with SK Telecom.

The South Korean operator is to use Samsung Corp. 's NFV technology to support a nationwide Internet of Things (IoT) network.

In a blog post on Samsung's website, it said the vendor's AdaptiV Core technology would support network innovation and improve service quality.

It plans to launch services on the IoT network in the first half of this year and says its first applications will cover package delivery tracking, CCTV monitoring and city-wide sensor monitoring.

Along with other network vendors, Samsung is positioning NFV as one of the core technologies of next-generation networks. Supporters argue that NFV will lead to greater efficiency and allow operators to launch new services with more agility.

For more NFV-related coverage and insights, check out our dedicated NFV content channel here on Light Reading.

Samsung claims to have scored higher marks than its NFV rivals during SK Telecom (Nasdaq: SKM)'s assessment of product performance, functionality, stability and ease of management.

Its AdaptiV Core product features a graphical user interface that lets customers more easily manage their virtualized resources, said the company.

It also includes a virtualized evolved packet core (EPC) that will be responsible for managing the traffic flowing to and from IoT devices. By "scaling" network functions as they are needed, the virtualized EPC should bring about performance improvements while reducing power consumption and cost.

In late 2013, SK Telecom carried out trials of virtualized EPC technology with a number of vendors, including Samsung and Nokia Networks . At the time, the operator said that Nokia was the only vendor to "successfully demonstrate a complete EPC solution in a cloud environment". (See SK Telecom Eyes Virtual Packet Core.)

Sweden's Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has more recently figured in SK Telecom's NFV plans. In September, the two companies agreed to collaborate on research into 5G and NFV technologies with the aim of boosting operational efficiency. (See Ericsson-LG, SKT Team on 5G, NFV R&D.)

That SK Telecom eventually plumped for Samsung on the IoT network is perhaps no surprise -- as two of South Korea's biggest technology players, they enjoy an especially close relationship.

Other big operators are also throwing their weight behind NFV technology. Japan's NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NYSE: DCM) has carried out trials with Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and NEC Corp. (Tokyo: 6701) and aims to have commercial services running over a virtualized EPC by March next year.

Spain's Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF), meanwhile, wants to virtualize as much as 30% of all new infrastructure by 2016. (See Telefónica Unveils Aggressive NFV Plans.)

Market research company Analysys Mason believes the NFV market will take off next year as "drivers start to overpower inhibitors." By 2018, it expects the global NFV market to be worth $2.4 billion, up from just $181 million in 2013.

— Iain Morris, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, News Editor, Light Reading

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About the Author(s)

Iain Morris

International Editor, Light Reading

Iain Morris joined Light Reading as News Editor at the start of 2015 -- and we mean, right at the start. His friends and family were still singing Auld Lang Syne as Iain started sourcing New Year's Eve UK mobile network congestion statistics. Prior to boosting Light Reading's UK-based editorial team numbers (he is based in London, south of the river), Iain was a successful freelance writer and editor who had been covering the telecoms sector for the past 15 years. His work has appeared in publications including The Economist (classy!) and The Observer, besides a variety of trade and business journals. He was previously the lead telecoms analyst for the Economist Intelligence Unit, and before that worked as a features editor at Telecommunications magazine. Iain started out in telecoms as an editor at consulting and market-research company Analysys (now Analysys Mason).

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