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Mobile World Congress 2018: It’s All About 5G

by Angela Whiteford Angela Whiteford No Comments

If you attended Mobile World Congress 2018 you saw it first-hand – it’s all about 5G. You could not go anywhere without being exposed to demos, use cases, and proof of concepts all centered around the pending arrival of the next-generation of mobile (and fixed) networks. As the leader in virtualized networks, Affirmed Networks was naturally front and center in the middle of the action.

Just prior to Mobile World Congress, we introduced the industry’s first ever 5G mobile core – a solution already in trials with some of the world’s top operators in North America and the Middle East. (Read some of the reactions to our 5G mobile core by some of the top influencers in the market).

We also shared our views on the industry’s direction as it evolves to 5G through conversations with the media and as part of industry debates on which part of the network would be more critical in a 5G world.

And of course, we spent a great deal of time with our customers, helping them understand the immense opportunity presented by 5G and mapping ways to help them get there as efficiently as possible.  Also, on the customer front, we announced several new deployments highlighting the ongoing evolution to virtualized networks globally.  In case you missed them, you can read all about how customers like Softbank, Turkcell, du and 3UK have selected Affirmed Networks to help them with their network transformation efforts.

We were also very active with our partners, conducting meetings, demos, and presentations with a growing ecosystem of partners –such as Intel, VMware, and Juniper, among others – that is focused on ensuring operators have the highest levels of performance and the most efficient deployment of virtualized networks in both a 4G and 5G world.

So, even if you weren’t able to get to Barcelona this year, you now know that this was the year that “5G got real” as the industry now shifts from Proof of Concepts to actual, working solutions such as our 5G mobile core.  The next phase is going to be all about use cases, deployments, and compelling new, tailored service offerings.  Hold on, it’s going to be a fun ride.

Affirmed Networks Joins the Debate – Core vs. Edge in a 5G World?

by Angela Whiteford Angela Whiteford No Comments

As always, MWC 2018 was a whirlwind of customer meetings, demos, and meeting with industry influencers. In addition to all this activity, Affirmed Networks’ Chief Architect, Ron Parker, participated in a lively session about which part of the network would be most critical in a 5G world.

Affirmed’s Ron Parker advocates the importance of the Network Core in a 5G world during a session at MWC 2018 in Barcelona.

The session, led by Dr. Bi Qi President of China Telecom Technology Innovation Center, which was titled “Debate: Do 5G Business Cases Depend More on Core or Edge Upgrades,” featured an impressive group of representatives from across the global telecom industry, who were split into teams to advocate one side over another. During the session, much of the debate centered on highlighting the unique business cases that are being built around 5G technologies, and how those are influencing the business and technology roadmaps of operators globally.

A proud member of “Team Core,” Parker’s views focused on the importance of a 5G core in terms of its ability to deliver, tailored “slices” of the network to enterprise customers, offering significant growth prospects for network operators offering connected services such as IoT and M2M.

Affirmed Networks Joins the Debate - Core vs. Edge in a 5G World?

Affirmed’s Ron Parker participates in a panel of thought-leaders from companies such as China Telecom, ECI, Qualcomm, ZTE, and others.

As expected, both sides presented articulate views and informed insights to support their respective sides, offering the audience a unique opportunity to hear perspectives directly from some of the leaders responsible for helping the industry move to 5G. Following the impassioned debate, fortunately, both sides parted amicably — mutually agreeing on the significant growth opportunity that 5G will provide across the ecosystem.

One of the panel’s more vocal participants, Parker offered several perspectives, including a closing remark highlighting the importance of 5G:

“The future of mobile networks is here today. Cloud-native and virtualized, the 5G-ready core networks being deployed by today’s innovative operators are enabling a new breed of customized slices, services and revenue streams over the years ahead.”

“The future of mobile networks is here today. Cloud-native and virtualized, the 5G-ready core networks being deployed by today’s innovative operators are enabling new breed of customized slices, services and revenue streams over the years ahead.” -Ron Parker, Chief Architect, Affirmed Networks

At Mobile World Congress 2018, Affirmed Focuses on What’s Happening Now

by Angela Whiteford Angela Whiteford No Comments

At Mobile World Congress 2018, you’ll hear 5G is the future. For Affirmed, the future is now. This year, Affirmed Networks is showcasing the industry’s first 5G, web-scale mobile core solution that’s field proven and available for deployment now.

Affirmed is proud to be participating again this year at GSMA’s 2018 Mobile World Congress. Affirmed will be in Hall 2, booth #2D50 throughout the event, lasting from February 26 to March 1, 2018.

At booth #2D50, you can expect to see demonstrations that will include Cloud Native, 5G, Control and User Plane Services, Network Slicing, Service Automation, and Virtual Probe and Analytics.

Schedule a meeting with Affirmed Networks and see firsthand, what is happening in the mobile industry now.

Accelerating the 5G Revolution

5G is changing the way communications service providers build their networks, which need to be more flexible, more scalable, more intelligent, and less expensive to operate. As the leader in virtualized mobile networks, Affirmed leads the way in accelerating network transformation to a next-generation virtualized architecture.

The Affirmed Networks’ 5G Mobile Core provides operators the opportunity to offer unique and highly customized service and optimize service delivery to their customers.

At booth #2D50, we will showcase our fully virtualized, cloud-native mobile network platform. Much more than a working concept, we’re showing a complete, proven solution that’s already hard at work in the world’s leading mobile networks: AT&T, Verizon, Vodafone, Digicel, and many more. You won’t want to miss it.

Affirmed will also have a presence with many of our technology partners, including VMware, HPE, Tech Mahindra, RedHat, Coriant, and Juniper Networks.

Do 5G Business Cases Depend More on Core or Edge Upgrades?

How can 5G technologies influence the timing and roadmaps of mobile operators globally? On Thursday, March 1st Angela Singhal Whiteford, Affirmed’s Vice President of Marketing and Product Management, will debate the business cases to be built around 5G technologies, and how that can influence the timings and technology roadmap of operators globally.

Whiteford will speak alongside industry experts including Dr. QiBi, President of China Telecom, Hayim Porat, CTO of ECI Telecom, Tommy Bjorkberg, CTO of ZTE, Balazs Bertenyi, Chairman of 3GPP, Alan Carlton, MD & VP for Europe at Interdigital, and Durga Malladi, SVP of Engineering at Qualcomm. Learn more about the debate here.

Schedule a Meeting with Affirmed at Mobile World Congress 2018

At Mobile World Congress 2018, we’ll share a fascinating look at the reality of ‘now’ in the mobile industry.

Want to make 5G a reality now? Meet with us at MWC ’18 at booth #2D50 in Hall 2. Schedule meeting.

Affirmed-Juniper TIA NOW Video Highlights Opportunities for Network Slicing

by Angela Whiteford Angela Whiteford No Comments

Network slicing is one of the key enabling capabilities for building flexible networks on top of a common physical infrastructure. In a recent TIA NOW video, Chris Bachalo, Director of Service Provider Cloud Solutions at Juniper Networks and Angela Whiteford, VP of Marketing and Product Management for Affirmed Networks joined forces to discuss how network slicing will become a fundamental technology enabling a wide range of use cases, and how service providers are taking some actions right now.

Here are some highlights:

Slicing drives service customization

Bachalo and Whiteford begin by pointing out that, as 5G continues to take shape, the business cases for cost-effectively implementing multiple logical networks (slices) over the same common physical infrastructure are becoming clearer. Slices can be allocated to specific uses like IoT, mobile virtual network operators (MVNO), gold/silver/bronze classes of service, individual customers or operators, or even specific network domains, such as wireless, wireline, consumer and business.

Operators see a massive growth in data traffic across their networks and would like to micro-segment that traffic and charge differently for each segment according to cost factors and other segment considerations. Micro-segmentation is a big capability that network slicing enables.

Is network slicing viable in a pre-5G world?

It’s obvious to operators that services customized for specific requirements (e.g. per industry) can drive significant top-line revenue growth. But what’s the practical timeline for implementing network slicing? The industry is fast evolving to the 5th generation wireless technology standard, but evolution takes time (Verizon has announced it will launch 5G service in several cities during 2018). In the meantime, what can network slicing do in a world that hasn’t fully transitioned to 5G technology?

Operators are implementing network slicing on 4G networks now through APNs, but have found the configuration process cumbersome, requiring touching multiple networks to set up new “slices.” So far, slicing has been rudimentary, largely because of challenges in organizational coordination. 5G technology will cut through that, but even today there are new slicing functions coming out that create a centralized location where slicing policies can be created without touching many different organizational elements. This makes slicing more practical in current non-5G network environments.

Automation and analytics are making slicing worth implementing today

Virtualization has begun to allow service providers to spin up logical networks quickly and easily, basing services and functions anywhere in the network and dynamically allocating functions where they are needed. For instance, new tools are emerging that will let today’s centralized functions evolve into future services that distribute low-latency apps closer to end users.

When adapting today’s network to changing needs, virtual probes and analytics are important. Real-time metrics can be gathered for a given slice to establish a baseline understanding of how it is performing and proactive at anticipating problems. Knowing what users are doing can drive the creation of new profitable, new service offerings. Automation tools are emerging to stitch services together in order to detect issues and opportunities and take action efficiently, as well as handling the growing number of functions made possible by slicing.

To learn more, view the full video.

Affirmed Networks Powers 2degrees’ Mobile Network

by Angela Whiteford Angela Whiteford No Comments

New Zealand Operator Taps Affirmed and Metaswitch to Enable VoWiFi Services

New Zealand’s third largest mobile operator, 2degrees, is making it easier for customers to stay connected with the introduction of Wi-Fi calling. 2degrees’ mobile network covers 98.5% of places people live and work in New Zealand. As for any mobile provider, maintaining strong cellular coverage inside homes and office buildings can be problematic. But for a provider serving New Zealand, the country’s dramatic terrain creates additional coverage challenges as signals are weakened by the country’s rugged terrain.

2degrees is the latest mobile operator to recognize the value that cloud native technologies can play in enhancing the customer experience while increasing the efficiency of the network. Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) allows customers to call and message from their mobile phones using a Wi-Fi connection, even when they are outside a mobile coverage area.

The Affirmed Factor

Affirmed Networks’ virtualized ePDG (evolved Packet Data Gateway) is a crucial part of the cloud native communications software from Metaswitch, 2degrees’ partner in enabling the Wi-Fi Calling initiative. Metaswitch’s cloud native portfolio delivers immediate cost savings and operational simplicity to meet the opportunities presented by 5G and IoT applications. One of the biggest barriers to bringing Wi-Fi into the core network is the issue of scalability. Untrusted Wi-Fi networks require a high number of IPsec-encrypted sessions that can quickly test the limits of a physical gateway. Affirmed has solved this problem with a highly scalable, virtual ePDG solution that can increase the number of IPsec-encrypted sessions on demand without requiring additional hardware. This enables mobile operators to provide secure access to the network from untrusted non-3GPP IP access networks.

Affirmed Networks not only provides a foundational component for 2degrees’ next-generation Wi-Fi calling, but also helps deliver the benefits of virtual network functions (VNFs) that are inherently designed for cloud environments. Affirmed’s virtualized solution is the simplest path to mobile network transformation, allowing 2degrees to implement new applications more quickly.