Ahead of the LTE World Summit taking place at the Amsterdam Rai in the Netherlands next week on the 23rd-25th June 2014, we asked the keynote speakers taking part in the Maximising LTE Panel Discussion, taking place on Day One, the question:
“To what extent have you virtualised your network and how important will NFV be in the future?
Frédéric Ruciak, EVP of strategy for Bouygues Telecom
We have not yet implemented NFV in our network but we think it may be an opportunity in the future. The main benefits will be to reduce costs in our core network and to improve time to market. We think robust and powerful solutions may go live within a three- to five-year timeframe. We’ll be cautious in terms of operations and QoS, because we may potentially move from single vendor platforms, with clear commitment, to layered environments, where we may have interoperability issues and multiple responsibilities.
Park Jin-Hyo, SVP & Head of Network Technology R&D Center, SK Telecom
Our ultimate goal is to virtualize all telecommunications equipment in implementing software. However, considering the possible impact on the existing network, in 2014 we plan to start with IMS, telecommunications infrastructure to provide HD Voice, as it is based on a general-purpose hardware server and therefore easier to apply virtualization technology.
After validating performance and stability of IT virtualization, we will continue to virtualize other network equipment as well. Going beyond virtualization of core network functions, we plan to apply the technology on base stations, the access point with customer, eventually aiming to innovate the whole structure of telecommunications infrastructure.
By applying NFV technology, a MNO can efficiently cope with ever-increasing data traffic by securing flexible network structure, apply new services at an incomparably faster pace and, as hardware and software will be separated also provide more business opportunities to SMEs. As such, SK Telecom believes that NFV technology will become a key enabler in its mid-to-long term network structure innovation.