Nokia Networks and Telekom Austria Group have announced new virtualisation tests with trials of virtual modems and software defined networking in mobile backhaul.
Telekom Austria Group has tested virtualisation in its home country for the first time, with its domestic subsidiary A1 partnering with NEC/NetCracker to test a virtual modem in a field trial.
Both companies virtualised and outsourced the functions of a modem to an A1 computing centre, which they said led to a strengthening of flexibility, security and efficiency.
By outsourcing the modems, technicians can run security upgrades and processes from the centre, such as anti-virus scanning or firewalls. Telekom Austria said one potential use is to manage internet access by placing restrictions on certain devices.
While modems will still carry out the transmission of data via DSL, the products can become more energy efficient and smaller. A1 said it expects to be able to produce these new modems commercially within two years.
The Austria trial follows a range of tests in Telekom Austria Group's subsidiaries across the former Yugoslavia and Bulgaria.
Guenther Ottendorfer, CTO, Telekom Austria Group, said: "For Telekom Austria Group NFV technology is a paradigm shift which will have a major impact on the telecommunication industry globally within the next few years. The traditional IT silo world will no longer exist and the telecom landscape will be shaped differently. I am proud that the Group is among the first operators worldwide to set these trends."
Marcus Grausam, A1 CTO, added: "Managing and maintaining hundred thousands of modems of multiple generations and different manufacturers poses considerable challenges especially in terms of work load. Besides, increasing complexity goes hand in hand with growing fault vulnerability and rising difficulties for our customers to make the best out these devices."
Meanwhile, Nokia Networks has partnered with Aalto University in Finland, Coriant and Exfo to develop a proof of concept where software defined networking technology is applied across mobile backhaul, transport and core network.
The virtual LTE network allows operators to change capacity and functionality depending on demand. Nokia Networks said operators could use hardware more flexibly. LTE base stations would be the only specific hardware components, with software dictating how the remaining infrastructure works.
Jose Costa-Requena, Research Manager, Department of Communication and Networking at the Aalto University, said: "The researchers working on this revolutionary project envision both optimising the mobile transport network by using SDN and running mobile backhaul, transport and core entirely in the telco cloud. The future of networking is about simplicity, automation and agility of the network to best serve business and subscriber needs."