Alcatel-Lucent, Telefonica Expand NFV Partnership
The Spanish telco will expand its testing of Alcatel-Lucent's virtual networking gear as part of its effort to use NFV in its environment.Alcatel-Lucent and Spanish telecommunications company Telefonica are expanding the work they're doing together in testing network-functions virtualization technologies for service providers. Telefonica officials, who last year announced a project called Unica to virtualize its network infrastructure by using network-functions virtualization (NFV) technologies and cloud computing, already has tested Alcatel-Lucent's Virtualized Service Router in its NFV Reference Lab using the OpenMANO NFV orchestration stack. Eventually, the testing reached a 100 percent line-rate performance, which meant that data was transported with no losses. The companies said they will continue testing other parts of Alcatel-Lucent's NFV portfolio this year. The latest agreement expands an original memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by the companies in February 2014. Under the original agreement, Telefonica used Alcatel-Lucent's CloudBand platform in its NFV efforts. According to officials with both firms, the companies, as part of the new MoU, will work to determine what needs to be done to enable mobile networks to handle the increasing demands being put on them by the growing number of mobile Internet users, machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and the burgeoning Internet of things (IoT). NFV and software-defined networking (SDN) are being looked at by enterprises, service providers and telcos to help them build networks that are more programmable, dynamic, agile and affordable than the ones they're using now. NFV and SDN enable organizations to put the control plane and networking tasks into software and run them on commodity systems that are less expensive and less complex than traditional networking gear.
According to analysts at IHS Infonetics Research, 48 percent of carriers surveyed by the firm said they plan to evaluate NFV by the end of the year, while 35 percent will deploy it in 2015.