ZTE expecting big NFV/SDN boost in 2017

02 Mar 2017

Chinese equipment and network vendor ZTE says it expects to add more than 40 new SDN and NFV customers in 2017, bringing the global number to more than 220.

ZTE’s Wang Weibin, CTO of SDN and NFV Products, told a media briefing at Mobile World Congress that the company was currently involved in around 180 NFV and SDN projects with customers worldwide, and had added 40 last year with even more slated for 2017.

Describing ZTE as a “global leader” in NFV/SDN solutions, Wang said the company’s focus for 2017 was to reach out to the open source community and develop its virtualized offerings, with the incorporation of new “contender technologies” such as the Docker software wrapping solution.

While the bulk of the NFV/SDN projects were outside of China, the main focus at home was the commercial release of VoLTE for China Unicom.

The momentum was to provide customers with the ability to rapidly deploy new services to the market on a scalable basis, and with lower capex and total cost of ownership.

This was attractive to MVNOs and OTT players, but also to second tier carriers who were facing pressure both from above – from tier one incumbents – and from new players and start-ups.

“We think the main strength of virtualisation is reducing the capex through creating a common infrastructure which is open to other parties,” Wang said.

“It is dynamic and elastic, and can scale in and scale out depending on demand, so it is a major enabler for new products to come to the market.

“It is a technology of disruption and we think it is a revolution for the telecoms industry.”

Wang said he believed that next generation infrastructure should be open to third parties, such as B2B partners and vertical industries.

“So we think that the next generation network is a new business model, not just a new technology platform,” he said.

“Traditional telecoms services are always big and heavy and slow.

“If the operator wants to launch a new service it needs half a year, sometimes one whole year, but for OTT service providers sometimes it is just one or two months.”

Other NFV/SDN initiatives from ZTE included the introduction of “micro services” which used virtualisation to access slices of applications.

“Micro services man that we split off a different slice of the application, and if we change an old service to a new service we are just able to modify a very small area, and not impact on the others,” he said.

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