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How to Implement Seamless Service Provisioning for 5G Networks

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Service Provisioning Makes 5G Services as Smart on the Inside as They Are on the Outside

As 5G approaches, the telecom conversation has shifted from smartphones to 5G services such as smart cars and smart cities. And while 5G services are fun to talk about, one of the things that many telco vendors aren’t talking about is service provisioning; how these services will actually be turned up, provisioned and managed in a network environment where 5G, 4G, 3G, and even 2G technology are likely to co-exist for a long time.

Of course, being the 5G-focused company that we are, Affirmed is not just talking about it, we actually did something about it by developing telecom solutions to address service provisioning in just such a hybrid environment. You can read more about it in the new ACG Research paper, “Hybrid Networks: Integrated Provisioning for Virtual and Physical Networks.”

Service provisioning and creating new services, go hand in hand. Particularly with enterprises, which stand to be some of the largest consumers of 5G services, issues such as speed-to-service and service assurance are very important.

It’s one thing, for example, to turn up and provision mobile data services for an individual subscriber, but what happens when your subscriber is an entire city? Suddenly, you’re talking about mobilizing a small army of network resources that may be spread across different domains and vendor technologies, all of which need to work together seamlessly. Even in a purely virtualized world, that’s a challenge; in a network where virtual and physical elements are mixed together, it’s a mistake waiting to happen.

 

What is Seamless Service Provisioning for MNOs?

What is seamless service provisioning in telecom, and what does it look like for Mobile Network Operators? For starters, it looks the same whether the underlying technology is a virtual network function (VNF) or a physical appliance, using a single, easy-to-use interface to manage both. (By “easy to use,” we’re talking service orchestration with drag-and-drop simplicity, so it’s easy even for non-engineers to use.) It also dynamically allocates the right amount of resources for the job, so network operators don’t have to take the cost hit of equipment sitting idle.

In addition to its ease of use, service provisioning also manages the service for the entire lifecycle, from inception to deletion, and automated provisioning allows for automated management tasks. In other words, provisioning makes 5G services as convenient inside the network as they’re intended to be outside the network.

 

A Smarter Approach to Service Provisioning:

Affirmed enables seamless service provisioning via its domain orchestration and service automation solutions. At a high level, Affirmed’s Domain Orchestrator provides end-to-end service orchestration across hybrid, multivendor network environments. It also includes automation for complex provisioning scenarios: activating a new service, performing self-healing, or scaling service resources as demand changes.

The Affirmed Service Automation Platform (ASAP) features a simple drag-and-drop interface for rapid service creation, again connecting seamlessly across physical and virtual network functions from a variety of vendors through standard interfaces. Together, Domain Orchestrator and ASAP make it much easier for mobile service providers to deliver 5G services quickly and consistently, whether they’re rolling out an IoT service for an entire city or deploying consumer mobile broadband services in an entirely new region. And that’s important because, in a world where everyone is talking the 5G talk, you need a smarter approach to service provisioning if you expect to walk the walk.

Affirmed Networks Appoints Anand Krishnamurthy to President and COO

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Member of Company’s Founding Team to Assume Broader Operational Role as the Company Continues to Help Mobile Operators Prepare for 5G

 

ACTON, MASSACHUSETTS, USA, September 12, 2019 – Affirmed Networks, the leader in virtualized mobile networks, today announced it has promoted Anand Krishnamurthy to President and Chief Operating Officer, reporting directly to Hassan Ahmed, Affirmed’s Chairman, and CEO. A member of the group that founded Affirmed Networks nine years ago, Anand brings an intimate understanding of the business that will be critical in guiding the company’s growth as it continues to help its 100+ customers prepare for the arrival of 5G.

A 20-year veteran of the telecommunications industry, Anand brings a combination of deep technical and business expertise as the company leads the transformation of mobile networks toward cloud-native architectures that will be the foundation for new 5G services. In his new role, Anand will direct all operational decisions, while driving alignment and cohesion across the functional areas that now report directly to him.

“As one of the founding members of Affirmed Networks, Anand has been key to helping us achieve our current leadership position,” said Hassan Ahmed, Chairman, and CEO, Affirmed Networks. “Having grown our engineering organization from a handful of engineers to one of the most talented in the industry, Anand has a deep understanding of the unique requirements and characteristics of virtualized mobile networks. Throughout his time with us, he has gained an in-depth knowledge of the business, the trust of our customers and the respect of his team. All of this makes him ideally suited for his new role where he will be focused on ensuring continued growth during this critical time for our company and our industry.”

“Since its inception, Affirmed Networks has been on the leading edge of one of the most important transformations our industry has ever seen,” said Anand Krishnamurthy, Affirmed’s President, and COO. “We have been fortunate to have a world-class engineering team with a sharp focus on the needs of our customers as they completely redefine the way services will be delivered over 5G virtualized networks. I look forward to this expanded role, and to driving growth as we continue to support our customers.”

Throughout his career, Anand has held several technical and managerial roles within leading companies in the telecommunications industry including roles at Airvana, Ascend Communications, Cascade Communications, and Lucent Technologies. He holds degrees from the Birla Institute of Science and Technology and from Boston University.

 

About Affirmed Networks, Inc.
Affirmed Networks was founded to transform the future of the mobile industry. Our vEPC and cloud-based webscale solutions enable operators to change the economics of deploying and scaling networks. Operators deploy Affirmed’s NFV solutions to deliver differentiated 5G services including mobile broadband, IoT, carrier-grade Wi-Fi roaming, connected cars and more. Affirmed solutions enable operators to enhance the network experience while achieving as much as a 90% reduction in operational costs. Proven in more than 100+ networks and over 80 countries, our NFV solutions are deployed in the world’s largest networks and provide industry-leading performance and scale coupled with unmatched service agility, accelerating new service innovation, creation, and delivery. For more information, please visit www.affirmednetworks.com.

New Research Outlines Significant Savings Delivered by Integrated Virtual 5G Mobile Core Solutions

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TCO Analysis by ACG Research Highlights 80% CapEx and 90% OpEx Savings, with an Integrated Mobile Core when Compared to “Best of Breed” Solutions

 

ACTON, MASSACHUSETTS, USA, August 13, 2019 – Affirmed Networks, the leader in virtualized mobile networks, today revealed the findings of a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) analysis by ACG Research that demonstrated the economic advantages that Mobile Network Operators can realize by deploying an integrated, virtual 5G mobile core solution.

The report, Integrated Cloud Core Advantage: A TCO Analysis, provides Mobile Network Operators with an independent financial analysis that compared an integrated 5G virtual Evolved Packet Core solution from Affirmed to a standalone ‘Best of Breed’ multi-vendor solution.  In summary, the Affirmed integrated 5G vEPC solution provides a maximum capital expense (CapEx) savings of up to 81% and maximum operations expense (OpEx) savings of over 94%, generally resulting in CapEx savings of 50% and OpEx savings of 87% over 5 years compared to best-of-breed solutions.  The Affirmed integrated 5G vEPC also provided additional savings in multiple expense categories over a 5-year period as noted in Table 1.

Table 1: Affirmed Integrated 5G vEPC Savings Over Multi-vendor Solution Five-Year Savings (Source: ACG Research)

Expense Category 5-year Savings
Capital Expense (CapEx) 50%
Operational Expense (OpEx) 87%
Network Care 93%
Testing and Certification Operations 95%
Training 94%
Floor Space (reduction) 51%
Power Costs 60%
Cooling Costs 88%

“Operators deploying virtualized mobile core solutions are looking to support both 4G and 5G services and applications,” said Chris Nicoll, Principal Analyst, ACG Research. “While vendors have responded by providing solutions that are cloud-native, the missing link has been the delivery of a truly integrated solution capable of delivering a high-performance and material savings from a CapEx and OpEx perspective.  This study represents an in-depth analysis of the many areas where a truly integrated solution can deliver powerful economic returns when compared to “best of breed” approaches that have been deployed in the first phases of virtualization.”

“As a company, we have continually focused on helping Mobile Operators deploy and scale their networks to meet the requirements of their customers. This study by ACG Research demonstrates the cost advantages that a truly integrated 5G vEPC provides to ensure operators can deliver the services customers require while remaining as competitive and profitable as possible,” said Ashwin Moranganti, Affirmed Networks, Vice President of Product and Marketing.

Methodology: Functions & Use Cases

For the analysis conducted in the report, ACG considered the following network core functions:

  • 5G Mobile Core
  • DPI and GiLAN Services: integrated packet inspection, media, content services: web/video optimization, content filtering, security (e.g., subscriber firewall, NAT).
  • Automated Service Provisioning: configuration management across multi-vendor virtual/physical network elements and network-wide service instances; automates service creation, provisioning, instantiation of network functions; supports standard network element interfaces: SOAP, REST, NETCONF/YANG, and CLI.
  • Intelligent Probe and Analytics: providing real-time network analytics on network performance and user KPI’s.

The report compared the Affirmed Networks virtualized packet core, including the company’s virtual GiLAN stack and its Virtual Probe (vProbe) solution to the multi-vendor-based ‘best of breed’ non-integrated solution. The analysis computed both the ROI and TCO as well as the annual costs over a 5-year period for two use-cases: IoT and Consumer Mobile Broadband connections, looking at both the operations expense (OpEx) and capital expense (CapEx) costs.

Register to download the full report

 

About Affirmed Networks, Inc.
Affirmed Networks was founded to transform the future of the mobile industry. Our vEPC and cloud-based solutions are enabling operators to change the economics of deploying and scaling networks. Operators 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. For more information, please visit www.affirmednetworks.com.

Affirmed, Intel and Dell EMC Have an Answer for 5G’s Need for Speed

by Affirmed Affirmed No Comments

Bring up the topic of 5G services and you’ll hear a lot of ideas, from virtual reality gaming to automated manufacturing floors. Ask how mobile service providers (MSPs) plan to deliver those services, however, and the room usually gets quiet. That is, until now. With the announcement of the first cloud-native 5G core network (5GCN) to support 100 GbE interfaces, Affirmed, Intel and Dell EMC have given MSPs plenty to talk about.

In a new whitepaper, Intel, Dell EMC and Affirmed outline the industry’s first 5GCN solution built to achieve 200 Gbps on a single server—a milestone that makes ubiquitous mobile broadband and edge computing more feasible than ever before. Using a combination of hardware acceleration, software optimization and intelligent engineering, the Affirmed/Intel/Dell EMC partnership has removed the most daunting barriers of entry for next-generation 5G services by solving many of the bandwidth, latency and load-balancing issues that 5G applications present to network operators.

At the “core” of the new 5GCN solution are Intel’s Field Gate Programmable Array (FGPA) hardware accelerators, Dell EMC’s latest PowerEdge servers and Affirmed’s next-generation 5GC platform. Together, these technologies allow MSPs to expand and accelerate the performance of their Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) architecture. The benefits of using this new approach to 5GCN include:

  • Faster 5G performance than ever before possible;
  • Native support for network slicing of different traffic types, including IoT and other enterprise use cases;
  • Lower power consumption per bit;
  • Easier deployment of essential 5G capabilities such as deep packet inspection, CG-NAT firewalls, TCP optimization and QUIC video optimization;
  • Support for OpenStack, Kubernetes and other “open” technologies.

5G presents a number of unique challenges to network operators, from control and user plane separation (CUPS) to load balancing. Many network vendors have these issues on their roadmap, but haven’t arrived at a practical solution yet. Affirmed, Dell EMC and Intel are at the forefront of finding workable 5G solutions that improve performance, reduce total cost of ownership and support emerging open standards for cloud and NFV. The ability to get more 5G performance from a single server is critical to the success of 5G, both from an architectural and a financial perspective.

As 5G moves from concept to reality, it’s increasingly clear that no one vendor will have the complete answer to 5G transformation and enablement. Instead, as our partnership with Intel and Dell EMC illustrates, the future of 5G rests with best-of-breed collaborators doing what they’re best at, whether it’s building the fastest servers, the smartest processors or the most flexible 5G architecture.

To get the full story on 5GCN, download the Intel white paper, “Enabling Communications Service Providers to Meet 5G High Density I/O Goals through Software Optimization and Hardware Acceleration.

More Than a Job

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Employee Spotlight: Poornima Ravishankar

Affirmed Networks is a close-knit company where everyone feels welcome. Take Affirmed’s own Poornima Ravishankar for example. She started at Affirmed eight years ago as an intern and went on to get her Master’s in Information Systems, eventually coming back to Affirmed for a full-time position.

Poornima’s job description centers around writing code for products, but one of the benefits of Affirmed is that employees aren’t defined only by a job description. For Poornima, she can take a much more holistic approach to coding and see the product in its developmental stages all the way through until its deployment.

The Community

Poornima Ravishankar

Working at Affirmed has given Poornima a kind of second family. It makes coming in to work a joy when you work with people are always warm and willing to help someone in need, no matter the situation. For Poornima, she enjoys coming in and seeing her second family every day. Another benefit of working at Affirmed is that the company hosts plenty of socials for everyone to meet and chat outside of a work setting. There is a monthly social, a big summer company outing, and a Christmas party, to name a few.

What Affirmed Does for You

When Poornima first started at Affirmed, her goal was to work on new technology and have a hand in rolling out the new solutions. In addition, one of the most important things for her is to not do the same tedious tasks every day. To this point, Affirmed has really helped her reach her goal and do the work she has always wanted to do. Although much of the technology is different from when she first started, she has learned all about each wave of technology that has been deployed. One of her favorite things about working with the technology is seeing how Affirmed is always one of the first companies to work on the newest material coming out. One of the biggest reasons Poornima continues to work here is that you really get to break the barriers of your job description and take on a new challenge every day.

Team Sticky Rice

As mentioned in our Sticky Rice Blog, some members of the Affirmed Team partook in the Boston Hunger Walk as a part of team Sticky Rice put together by Thuy Fernandes. It is a 20-mile walk and each team raises funds to donate to Project Bread, which gives money to local food pantries, soup kitchens, and child nutrition initiatives. Poornima was a part of team Sticky Rice this past May walking to end hunger in Massachusetts. She said that after walking 20 miles she was dead tired, but thought it was amazing to see the enthusiasm of all the people for such a great cause. It has even inspired her to do more fundraising and volunteering because of the impact it left on her. This event was extra special because it was something out of the norm that she was able to do with her second family and have a lot of fun with.