Juniper Unveils New Routers for Mobile Networks

The devices, as well as new capabilities in the Junos Space management platform, aim to help carriers improve bandwidth and create new services.

IP networking

Juniper Networks is rolling out new networking routers and features in its Junos Space network management software to help out mobile service providers that are under pressure to supply more bandwidth and more quickly spin out new services to customers.

Juniper officials on Feb. 18 unveiled the new ACX500 and ACX5000 routers, which offer such capabilities as improved accuracy in detecting signal hand-offs, improved routing of small cell signals, embedded virtualized functions and the aggregation of multiple networks, from small cells and macro cells to residential and commercial broadband networks.

New features in the Junos Connectivity Services Director and Cross Provisioning Platform software enable the automated provisioning and unified management of Carrier Ethernet services on multivendor networks, which essentially reduces the amount of time spent deploying services and decreases the overall cost of operation, according to Juniper officials.

The new offerings come as mobile service providers are being pushed to supply greater network bandwidth and to more quickly provision services for their customers. They are addressing those demands to some degree with small cells, which can be used to deliver greater bandwidth and faster services. However, the use of these devices creates the need to better aggregate them and make management easier via a stronger backhaul, officials said.

Juniper is looking to enable service providers to create better back hauls for small cells and improved Ethernet deployments through the integration of both the physical infrastructure and virtual services, according to Mike Marcellin, senior vice president of marketing and strategy at Juniper.

"These new solutions enhance the mobile subscriber experience and improve profit margins for service providers by cost-effectively meeting operational challenges with zero-touch rapid deployment and delivering seamless access for new, high-bandwidth services," Marcellin said in a statement.

The ACX500 is designed to reduce capacity issues that are arising with the increasingly complex LTE networks. At the same time, the router comes with an integrated GPS receiver, which officials said will reduce the number of dropped calls and improve locations-based services, such as directions and E911 emergency calls. In addition, the router's capabilities will improve the quality of video streaming, Juniper officials said. Small cell routing will be improved via integrated security and high-precision timing with less than 0.5-microsecond phase accuracy, they said.

The router, which will be available in the second quarter, has no fans and is rugged enough to be used indoors or outside.

"The ACX500 routers also support Juniper Networks Junos OS, extensive Layer 2 and Layer 3 features, IP/MPLS with traffic engineering support, rich network management, fault management, service monitoring and OAM capabilities," a Juniper blogger noted in a post on the company site. "By converging all of these features into a single device, the ACX500 line of routers delivers a level of scalability and reliability that will improve your customers' overall quality of experience while lowering costs for deploying, maintaining and updating the network infrastructure."

The ACX5000, which will be available this quarter, is a dense, terabit-scale Carrier Ethernet router that can aggregate multiple networks. It offers Gigabit Ethernet, 10GbE and 40GbE capabilities as well as offering carriers an efficient Metro Ethernet platform that will help cut operating expenses.

The router supports Kernel Virtual Machine (KVM)-compliant network-functions virtualization (NFV) that enables carriers to quickly create such services as network analytics and security services, as well as virtualized network functions that are customized for subscribers.