Telstra, Ericsson ink deal for full-stack SDN/NFV cloud solution

24 Feb 2016

Telstra and Ericsson signed a contract at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Tuesday under which Ericsson will deploy a full-stack telecom cloud solution that includes NFV and SDN, and will focus initially on transforming the Australian telco’s wireless network and providing a 5G-ready core.

Under the deal, first announced on Sunday, Telstra will deploy Ericsson's virtual network functions (VNFs) and cloud execution environment, creating a flexible, agile and programmable network that can improve customer experience and support the development of compelling new customer services.

“This is about virtualizing the stack of the existing network in Australia, using a cloud stack for the wireless network in the short term that makes it flexible and dynamic to take it to 5G, if you like,” said Mike Wright, Managing Director of Networks for Telstra Group. “Ultimately there will be this network-wide architecture, but for now this is a more useful roadmap for the short term.”

Ericsson said the solution will also enable networking slicing, which can be used to tailor solutions efficiently for enterprises.

Wright mentioned at a media briefing/contract signing at MWC Tuesday that the solution will enable Telstra to bring up specific functions on demand and respond to dynamic network traffic demand from apps like video and IoT.

“Traditionally we would place an element in a specific geographic location. But we’re now in a situation where peak demand can happen in a certain geographic location at a certain time of day, and it may not be at the center of the network but on the edge,” Wright explained. “So the ability of distributed cloud to spin up functions in what will ultimately be real-time, but in the short term we’ll call it ‘soft real-time’, but it allows us to respond rapidly and spin up these functions in different parts of the network.”

Ericsson said the solution will help Telstra’s network scale as IoT adoption increases. The 5G-ready core network architecture will be delivered on Ericsson's solution for telecom cloud, based on the OPNFV reference architecture.

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