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Sierra Wireless selects Affirmed to help speed IoT application deployments

by Affirmed Affirmed No Comments

Virtualized packet core gateway and network slicing allow Sierra Wireless customers to develop tailored solutions across business units and verticals

Enterprises deploying IoT and Industrial IoT solutions across different business units and verticals often struggle with putting new applications tailored for specific use cases into service quickly and efficiently. Solution-specific requirements and even differing local regulations can slow the deployment process, resulting in increased downtime and higher costs, two things no enterprise can sustain over the long term.

Sierra Wireless, a leading IoT solutions provider, has launched a new global private access point name (APN) solution designed to accelerate application deployment by enabling customers to build devices with one single APN that is then translated into multiple private APNs within Sierra’s core network. All specific APN configurations take place in the cloud rather than on the devices themselves. The result is a flexible, robust solution that speeds IoT application deployments.

Needing a way for customer IoT devices to leverage its new private APN solution and connect across different network environments, Sierra turned to Affirmed Networks and our fully virtualized packet core gateway and virtual slice selection function (vSSF) solution. Affirmed’s network slicing solution steers traffic to specific gateways in the network and lets users manage and control services at a fine-grained level for faster time-to-market and lower operating costs.

Sierra’s new private APN solution will help transform the way enterprises deploy new IoT and Industrial IoT applications across their business, and Affirmed’s packet core gateway and network slicing solution will play a critical role in its functionality. Sierra customers will be able to expand their application portfolios quickly with tailored solutions developed for specific use cases and the ability to make future upgrades in near real-time, meeting the challenges of a dynamic environment as they happen.

Learn more about Sierra’s new private APN solution here.

Affirmed Private Network Service revolutionizes private enterprise 5G networks for Operators with a fully automated, integrated solution on Azure

by Affirmed Affirmed No Comments

As enterprises continue their digital transformations with the evolution to 5G technology and deploy next-generation applications, many will be turning to dedicated private mobile networks to deliver the low latencies, massive bandwidths, strong security, and flexible scalability those applications will require. This marks a tremendous opportunity for mobile network operators (MNOs) and mobile service providers (MSPs) to quickly and securely deliver private LTE/5G network services to those enterprises.

Affirmed Private Network Service (APNS) empowers MNOs and MSPs to seize this opportunity with technology that combines Affirmed’s industry-leading mobile core with Microsoft Azure’s capabilities to create a complete turnkey solution for private LTE/5G networks for enterprises. On June 16, as part of their Azure Private MEC offering announcement, Microsoft also announced the availability of APNS on the Azure marketplace.

APNS is a fully managed, end-to-end solution that MNOs and MSPs can deploy to offer enterprises a carrier-grade private network. This lays the foundation for the application of a wide range of next-generation 5G use cases – including Industry 4.0 – over a flexible, scalable, cost-efficient core service. With its seamless integration between private and public networks, APNS allows comprehensive mobility across multiple enterprise sites and across geographical locations.

“Affirmed Private Network Service combines 5G core technology with the cloud, providing operators with the ability to scale private networks to thousands of enterprise locations,” said Sanjay Mewada, Worldwide Marketing Leader, Microsoft. “Along with high-speed, high-bandwidth connectivity, APNS and Azure will give enterprises enormous flexibility in three key areas: dynamically scaling regional locations on demand, maximizing CapEx and OpEx savings on cloud infrastructure, and the ability to manage applications and connectivity on an end-to-end basis.”

Powerful, flexible, scalable

Affirmed Private Network Service consists of Affirmed Mobile Core, Affirmed Service Manager, Microsoft Azure Stack Edge platform, and Azure Network Function Manager. APNS is built on a cloud-native architecture that allows MNOs and MSPs to deploy an entire mobile core at the edge of the network, entirely in the cloud, or as a hybrid, with the control pane in the cloud and the user plane on the enterprise edge. That flexibility and scalability removes much of the complexity and other barriers to deploying a private LTE/5G network and offers a number of benefits, including:

Lower cost of entry

By enabling MNOs and MSPs to deploy a virtualized 5G core in the cloud, APNS helps to significantly reduce the cost of deploying 5G technology.

Simplified operation and management

The integration between Affirmed’s mobile core and Microsoft Azure enables MNOs and MSPs to easily deploy and manage private 5G networks remotely, from service orchestration and lifecycle management to maintaining and monitoring KPIs.

MNO-integrated mobility

APNS delivers seamless mobility across multiple enterprise sites through its distributed subscriber core and provides full mobility between private and public networks.

Deep business insights

MNOs, MSPs, and enterprises can leverage advanced services from Azure marketplace partners, including analytics, AI, machine learning, and other technologies.

With greater 5G adoption, the edge will become even more critical to driving new and future applications such as AR/VR, IoT, M2M, automation, and robotics. Moving, processing, and storing massive amounts of data closer to the end user will be a key requirement for enterprises. MNOs and MSPs will be critical enablers in this transformation.

We welcome MNOs and MSPs to explore how they can create the next generation of 5G and cloud-based infrastructure for their enterprise customers and help them accelerate their digital transformation. Click here to learn more about how APNS and Azure can help you build that network today.

Inventec Selects Affirmed for Private 5G Network to Drive Industry 4.0 Initiative for Advanced IoT, Automation and Smart Manufacturing

by Affirmed Affirmed No Comments

Taiwanese Manufacturer to Deploy First Truly Cloud-Native 5G SA Network to Ensure High Performance, Reliable, and Secure Connectivity for Robotic Automation

ACTON, Mass. – December 16, 2020 – Affirmed Networks announced today that it has been selected by Inventec, a leading Taiwanese manufacturer of consumer technology solutions, to deliver secure, private 5G networks for their smart manufacturing. This selection is an important part of Inventec’s adoption of Industry 4.0 and their transformation towards digital operations and robotic automation for large-scale manufacturing. Affirmed’s 5G Standalone (SA) UnityCloud™ will drive the connectivity for Inventec’s Automatic Optical Inspection (AOI) systems.

Inventec’s long history of innovation has been a key component of the company’s sustained growth and leadership. The company’s current digital transformation initiative is being deployed in alignment with its regional Industry 4.0 strategy. Industry 4.0 serves as a model for how industrial processes can leverage smart technologies such as AI, the Internet of Things (IoT), and big data. By using advanced technologies to automate and improve operations, Industry 4.0 enables companies to proactively respond to changing environments and markets—an increasing concern for manufacturing companies in the wake of COVID-19’s effect on global markets and supply chains. Inventec’s UnityCloud deployment is the first fully Cloud-Native 5G Standalone network within the Industry 4.0 arena.

“Inventec has fully embraced the Industry 4.0 initiative, as it is in direct alignment with our focus on innovation and our digital transformation strategy,” said Albert Chen, Senior Vice President, Inventec.  “As the most critical component of IoT and Smart Manufacturing, connectivity must be ubiquitous, reliable, and secure. After evaluating some of the more traditional approaches, we realized that the implementation of our own Private 5G network was the best way to ensure we had ‘always on’  coverage. Affirmed Networks was the obvious partner for us, as their innovative, cloud-native 5G standalone core delivers unrivaled performance that matches our Industry 4.0 needs.”

To deliver on its goal of automating manufacturing operations across its campus in Taoyuan city, Inventec sought a network solution with the inherent performance, scale, and security capabilities to ensure carrier-grade connectivity. After ruling out Wi-Fi and centralized solutions from service providers, the company selected the Affirmed UnityCloud solution to serve as the cloud-native core of a private 5G network capable of connecting robots, devices and machines, while automating operations throughout its campus.

Affirmed UnityCloud is a 5G core, cloud-native solution built on an open, webscale architecture that enables the delivery of 5G networks capable of improving reliability and performance while decreasing network operation costs by as much as 90 percent. UnityCloud converges “Any G”—including 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G networks, and wireline core—onto one unified platform, greatly simplifying the overall network architecture. Affirmed has partnered with HPE Communication and Media Solutions for its 5G Subscriber Data Management and ASOCS to provide Inventec with a complete end-to-end 5G solution to enable this innovative use case for Industry 4.0.

“Inventec is an example of an innovative company that seeks to use cutting-edge technology to deliver on its digital transformation objectives and ambitions,” said Sanjay Mewada, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer, Affirmed Networks. “Through their selection of Affirmed Networks as their 5G partner, Inventec is ensuring that its Smart Manufacturing initiative is equipped with the flexibility, security, and performance required to deliver upon its Industry 4.0 vision.”

To hear more about how Inventec reduced their manufacturing cost while increasing the yield using Private 5G Networks, click here to tune in to this exclusive on-demand webinar on Mobile World Live.

 

About Inventec
Founded in 1975, Inventec manufactures computers, telephones, notebooks, and servers and has developed a strong foundation for global success. Upon entering the 21st century, our company has become even more active in such industries as cloud computing, wireless communication, intelligent devices, IoT and green energy. For many years, the business concepts of Inventec have been “Innovation, Quality, Open Mind, and Execution.” At the forefront of our corporate beliefs are “Talent Assets” and “Social Responsibility.” The combination of business concepts and corporate beliefs create the core of Inventec that encourages us to embrace sustainable operations.

 

About Affirmed Networks
Affirmed Networks was founded to transform the future of the mobile industry. Our vEPC and cloud-based solutions are enabling Communications Service Providers (CSPs) to change the economics of deploying and scaling networks. CSPs have deployed Affirmed’s NFV solutions to deliver differentiated 5G services, including mobile broadband, IoT, carrier-grade Wi-Fi roaming, connected cars, and more. Proven in more than 100+ networks and over 80 countries, our NFV solutions are deployed in the world’s largest networks. Affirmed Networks was acquired by Microsoft in April 2020. For more information, please visit www.affirmednetworks.com.

 

Microsoft and Affirmed: Accelerating the path to 5G Services in the Cloud

by Affirmed Affirmed No Comments

With the announcement of Azure for Operators, Microsoft has outlined a vision and strategy to unlock the power of 5G and bring cloud and edge closer than ever, opening new opportunities for service providers all over the world.

Microsoft’s recent acquisitions of Affirmed Networks and Metaswitch, while a surprise to some in the telecommunications industry, signaled  Microsoft’s long-term commitment to telecommunications industry. Telcom executives naturally had a lot of questions: What were Microsoft’s 5G plans? How would the new acquisitions align with Microsoft’s cloud strategies? Would Microsoft’s presence accelerate the arrival of 5G? Is Microsoft looking to compete or partner with telecommunications service providers?

Today, we can answer those questions.

On September 28, Microsoft for Telecommunications hosted its inaugural Telecommunications Executive Forum. This live event showcased Microsoft’s strategy, roadmap, and technology for 5G—some of it unveiled publicly for the first time. Attendees heard about Microsoft’s vision for 5G edge computing, cloud-based telecommunications, IoT, and a lot more. (Read more about Azure for Operators).

For Affirmed, it’s an exciting time to be a part of Microsoft. Our decision to join the Microsoft family was driven by the fact that both companies shared a unique vision for 5G and, together, could accelerate that vision. So far, the experience together has been overwhelmingly positive. Our customers are more excited about 5G than ever before, and our recent customer successes validate the vision that Microsoft and Affirmed share for the future.

Since the beginning of the year, we’ve seen more and more telco operators around the world not just testing 5G technologies but embracing them:

  • In Finland, home to the world’s highest consumers of mobile services, DNA is replacing their legacy mobile core with a 5G core to serve up high-speed, high-bandwidth connections and meet consumers’ ever-expanding appetite for mobile services.
  • In Latin America, Millicom is moving to a cloud-based, 5G-ready mobile core to roll out new edge-based services to their customers such as augmented/virtual reality experiences and IoT applications.
  • In the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, Etisalat is leveraging next-generation network automation and orchestration as they continue to roll out 5G and multi-access edge computing (MEC) services.
  • In Sweden, Netmore is adopting 5G technologies to gain an early market lead on private enterprise services and IoT applications across Europe.

Bringing together the industry’s first cloud-native mobile platform and the world’s second-largest public cloud network provides telco operators with a clear, proven, accelerated path to 5G services in the cloud. Microsoft’s announcement to build a comprehensive cloud platform for 5G service providers is a game-changer for telcos. As for Affirmed, being a part of Microsoft expands the kinds of solutions we can offer our customers, including the option to consume a cloud-based mobile core platform as a service on world’s most advanced cloud computing platform.

A merger is often compared to a marriage. After the initial honeymoon, the real test of the relationship begins as you discover how well you work together. What we’ve discovered is that all the things that attracted us to Microsoft are the same things that make us stronger together. We’re both one hundred percent committed to the cloud as the next-generation platform for telecommunications. The unmatched flexibility the cloud platform offers—from on-prem deployments to mobile core as a service—enables operators to evolve at their own pace.  We both believe edge computing is integral to the success of 5G. We believe in open standards that invite innovation. We both believe in partnering, not competing, with service providers. And, most importantly, we share the same goals and dreams for the future.

In the days and months that follow, you’ll see that future unfolding. You will see how Microsoft, Affirmed, and Metaswitch teams are working together on a diversity of offerings. Microsoft’s Azure platform is a critical piece of the telecommunications industry’s future, and we’re proud to be an important part of that. For Affirmed, it’s been a long and interesting journey from a start-up with a vision of a cloud-native mobile core to being an instrumental part of Microsoft’s vision for the future of telecommunications.

The best is yet to come. We can’t wait to get started.

Read more about Azure for Operators on this blog post and this Microsoft site or reach out here, if you want to learn more about this announcement.

Affirmed Networks Wins the Best Network Automation Technology Award at 5G World Summit 2020

by Affirmed Affirmed No Comments

The 5G World Summit 2020 event program may have been a virtual one but that didn’t take away from the event’s ability to highlight the criticality of the telecommunication industry during this unprecedented time.

This was especially true in the awards program.  Consisting of 15 dedicated 5G categories, the 5G World Awards are focused on celebrating and recognizing achievement and excellence in the industry.

We are pleased to announce that Affirmed Networks was named as a “Finalist” in three categories and won the top award for “Best Network Automation Technology.”  This award was created to recognize the best network automation technology from a vendor, with judges looking for specific detail of deployments and benefits.  Deployed at several of the world’s most innovative Communications Service Providers, Affirmed’s UnityCloud Ops solution measured highest in all of these categories, providing multiple use cases demonstrating measurable benefits and cost-savings across the network.

UnityCloud Ops is gaining traction in the marketplace because operators know that successful 5G deployments will require a high degree of intelligent automation, and network slicing to create, deploy, and manage new offerings. UnityCloud Ops is capable of doing just that and provides operators with reduced OpEX, greater deployment flexibility, and service agility.

All of this is contributing to the continued adoption of UnityCloud Ops by CSPs worldwide.

In addition to being named a “Finalist” and ultimate “Winner” in the Network Automation category, Affirmed Networks was named a finalist in two other categories based on our continued success helping operators deploy virtualized 4G and 5G networks.  These categories include:

  • Best 5G Core Network Technology
  • Best Edge Computing Technology

The entire team at Affirmed Networks is honored to receive this recognition from such a respected event and esteemed group of judges.   We would like to thank 5G World for putting on such a well-run and much-needed event and would like to congratulate all of the Finalists and Winners honored during the 5G World Awards Program.