Fresh from Mobile World Congress, we all “get” that 5G will be a game changer. But if you’re waiting for 5G to officially arrive before you get into the game, you may find yourself on the sidelines. Right now, mobile operators around the world are already staking their claim on 5G-styled services, from international Wi-Fi data roaming to interconnected smart cities. How do we know this? Because they’re using our technology to do it.
Affirmed Networks has made some bold customer announcements in recent months that reveal how leading mobile operators are lining up for the 5G opportunities of the future. Here’s a quick recap at what our customers are doing to grab an early lead in the anticipated 5G frenzy.
Making Smart City Dreams a Reality
Dubai is looking to become the smartest city in the world, and the Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company—known popularly under the brand du—is determined to help them get there. Working with Affirmed and partners, du is launching a state-of-the-art Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem that will support millions of interconnected “smart” devices, from parking meters to personal trackers. At the heart of the solution is Affirmed’s virtualized Narrow Band-IoT (NB-IoT) mobile core, which currently runs on a native cloud environment and provides advanced network slicing capabilities that will help du support hundreds of different kinds of data streams, from lifesaving medical devices to residential electricity meters. du’s efforts will give Dubai access to the world’s first NB-IoT network built on the new 3GPP Release 14 standards.
Cooking Up New Services Fast in a Unified Telco Cloud
Any conversation around 5G quickly comes around to the question of “How will operators pay for it?” With flat or shrinking revenues for traditional voice and data services, creating new revenue-generating services is the key to 5G’s future sustainability. Turkcell isn’t waiting for an answer; they’re creating those services today with one of EMEA’s largest virtualized mobile networks, featuring Affirmed’s virtualized EPC (vEPC) and virtualized GiLAN services technology. Turkcell calls their new virtualized platform the “Unified Telco Cloud,” and it’s clearly an idea accelerator. With their Affirmed-based solution, Turkcell has shaved months off their service creation cycle and significantly reduced both the capex and opex costs associated with new services, allowing Turkcell to price those services more competitively in the market.
At Orange, All Roads Lead to Roaming
5G calls for ubiquitous connectivity, but building out 5G radio coverage everywhere is an impractical proposition. A better solution? Let Wi-Fi go where 5G can’t—deliver strong wireless connectivity in remote and enclosed areas—with Wi-Fi data roaming services that connect seamlessly to the mobile core network. That’s what Orange is doing today, thanks to its Wi-Fi gateway solution from Affirmed, with new Wi-Fi data roaming services that will be rolled out to customers in traditionally hard-to-service locations such as cruise ships and airplanes. By offering subscribers a seamless broadband mobile experience wherever they are, Orange is clearly a mobile carrier on the move.
Orange, du and Turkcell are living proof that you don’t need to wait for 5G to launch the revenue-generating services of the future. If you’d like to know how your business can move forward with cloud-native, 5G-ready solutions today, hear more of the story from Affirmed.