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Affirmed Networks’ 5G EPC Receives Top Ratings by GlobalData

by Affirmed Affirmed No Comments

We are pleased to announce that, in a research report released this week by analyst firm GlobalData, Affirmed Networks’ 5G vEPC received an overall rating of “very strong.”  Authored by lead analyst, Glen Hunt, the report evaluated Affirmed Networks’ capabilities and offerings across several categories, including: Technology, Go-to-Market, Market Momentum, and Service and Support.

The research effort, which evaluated several market participants independently, lauded Affirmed Networks’ solutions and capabilities across several areas.  Specifically, their recognition praised Affirmed Networks’ market traction with Tier One operators, its cloud-native architecture, which has delivered industry’s leading performance, and the integrated Gi-LAN services and virtual probe capabilities that are part of the solution. The report also cited Affirmed Networks’ continual innovation, specifically in the areas of automation and network slicing that allow operators to address challenges and embrace new service opportunities. The report also acknowledged Affirmed’s “network as a service” model that effectively eliminates “large investments in infrastructure.”

Of the many areas of positive analysis, the report gave Affirmed Networks credit for making “significant inroads with multiple mobile operators, both large and small” and for its innovation that allows the company to deliver the “performance, operational efficiency, and agile mobile core services.”

We are honored to be analyzed so favorably by GlobalData and look forward to extending upon all of our areas of strength in the new year as we continue to help mobile network operators to transform their networks in preparation for 5G.

The Importance of Performance in a 5G World

by Angela Whiteford Angela Whiteford No Comments

The industry is racing to the next generation – 5G – which will be virtualized, replacing the costly, legacy, hardware-based infrastructure that has been in place for decades with common off the shelf (COTS) servers that offer a host of cost and operational advantages.

But did you know they also offer performance benefits as well?

As network operators transform existing 4G networks the need to continually improve performance and scalability has become a key business imperative to drive the cost per bit delivered. With the arrival of 5G, this need becomes even more pronounced in order to profitably serve the bandwidth demands of 5G applications and services. 5G will require significantly more data-processing horsepower from the network than we have ever seen to support the exponential rise in high-bandwidth data traffic (e.g., video), the creation of data-rich services and the introduction of billions of “talking” machines via the Internet of Things (IoT).  This performance will be required across all areas of the network, especially the mobile core.

And, these performance gains are not a one-time event.

We are fortunate to be part of an industry that never stands still, and that continues to innovate and improve.   In no area is this more evident than in the continued advances in processing technologies from leaders like Intel.

By combining these advances with innovative, market-proven NFV solutions for the mobile core, we have achieved performance gains of as much as 10X over purpose-built mobile core offerings and competitive virtualized offerings.

For those of us at Affirmed Networks seeing this type of performance confirms what we’ve known all along: virtualized network functions (VNFs) that leverage the latest server technology and are architected for high data plane throughput are the best path to building the high-speed, high-capacity networks that 5G will require.

Learn more about the performance advantages of vEPC over legacy hardware in this Intel Performance Report.

Three UK Deploys NFV to Get Ready for 5G

by Affirmed Affirmed No Comments

Are you ready for 5G?

Bryn Jones, CTO, Three UK, chatted with Hassan Ahmed, CEO, Affirmed Networks, about the steps they are taking to improve their overall customer experience and prepare for the arrival of 5G.

This video case study provides a look into how Three UK is using Affirmed’s GiLAN (optimization, DPI, CGNAT, Content Filtering) and virtual probe offerings to handle their 30% per year data growth and position themselves to migrate to 5G services, while also reducing overall network complexity.

One of the industry’s first providers to offer “all you can eat” data plans, Three UK has been a disruptive force in the mobile industry since introducing the first 100% 3G network in the UK in 2003.  Today, they carry more than 32% of the UK’s mobile data traffic and cover 99% of the country’s population.  As a company that has consistently focused on providing the best possible mobile experience to their customers, during this video, they will share insights into

several compelling areas, including:

  • Why NFV is critical to handling the dramatic increase in types of traffic and overall capacity inherent with 5G services.
  • How service assurance and orchestration work when you spin up a new service using NFV.
  • How Three UK is delivering the right customer experience using real-time subscriber data and analytics with integrated virtual probe.

So, sit back, and watch.  There’s lots to be learned when one of the industry’s most innovative service providers shares their secrets of success.

New Whitepaper: 5G Velocity in the Distributed Cloud Era

by Angela Whiteford Angela Whiteford No Comments

With the 5G era on the horizon, service providers are re-architecting their networks to achieve the levels of performance and scalability required to support this new generation of networks.  To do so, many operators are distributing cloud infrastructure to network edge locations to enable rapid deployment of advanced network services.

Taking a specific look at evolving 4G and emerging 5G mobile networks, Affirmed Networks and Juniper Networks have commissioned a paper by one of the industry’s foremost experts that focuses on how cloud-native/microservices architectures enable service innovation and velocity.

Written by Gabriel Brown, Principal Analyst at analyst firm Heavy Reading, the paper makes the case for deploying edge infrastructure in combination with network slicing mechanisms to enable operators to create and deploy granular services, optimized to the use case and customer, using cloud-native network functions and management tools.

The paper not only looks at the new service requirements but also at the correlation between services and the architecture needed to support them.   Some of the many topics explored in detail as part of this paper include:

  • The Service-Based 5G Core Architecture
  • Distributed Cloud-Native Networks
  • Microservices for 4G/5G Core
  • Achieving True Service Velocity

Click here to obtain a copy of the full report.

For Mobile Network Carriers, Automation Is Key for Innovation

by Angela Whiteford Angela Whiteford No Comments

In the context of a mobile network core, automating the lifecycle management of both new and existing operator services, including designing, deploying, performance measuring, fine tuning, and decommissioning, is a rising tide that will lift all boats. But how fast that tide is coming in is an important topic to unpack, as we did in our conversation with Light Reading.

Services can be a complex mix of multiple functions, both legacy appliance-based functions and virtualized functions. When it comes to innovation, it’s the lack of automation that creates a cultural and structural barrier to driving top-line service revenue growth. Facing intense competition from over-the-top content providers, and with ever-higher service expectations from customers, operators must find ways to provide new revenue-generating services that customers will purchase.

 

Unfortunately, the current process of designing and rolling out a new service is a very manual one. It can take months to deploy a simple gold, silver, or bronze service. Given that the burden is so high to roll out a new service, only the “highest runners” tend to make it to market. This situation stifles innovation and significantly retards revenue generation.

On the other hand, automation allows operators to rapidly create, deploy, measure performance, iterate on services and decommission services (fail fast). The process can move 80% to 90% faster than it does today—while reducing the cost to create these services by 70% or more.

This powers the innovation engine in operators and drives growth. For instance, Affirmed has seen the simple process of onboarding a mobile virtual network operator customer take two months or longer without automation. Automating the process reduced the time to less than one week and cut the cost by 90%.

Automation has become an important driver to support new services such as enterprise offerings, innovative rating plans, and IoT. Edge Computing is an emerging area where virtual network functions are deployed closer to the edge, further driving the demand for automation.

Transitioning to automation will be a gradual evolution (probably a decade-long process, as Dan Jones and others have pointed out), but with highly repetitive tasks being first to evolve, we see a major wave of disruption coming as network processes inevitably become more automated.