Alcatel-Lucent has struck a carrier virtualization partnership with South Korea’s national operator, KT. The two companies have signed a “technical collaboration agreement” that will involve the development of NFV capabilities for KT’s “Giga” Network, based on the vendor’s CloudBand platform, reports LightReading.
KT’s Gigatopia strategy involves building a high-speed, integrated wired/wireless next-gen network that is ready for all manner of future media and data transport and geared up for the Internet of Things. The Cloud-based wireless network approach was largely developed by AlcaLu subsidiary Nuage Networks.
KT chief executive Hwang Chang-gyu urged the world’s leading mobile carriers and manufacturers to collaborate in establishing the so-called “GiGAtopia,” referring to a mobile environment connected through superfast gigabit technology.
Evolved Packet Core is an evolution of the packet-switched architecture used in GPRS/UMTS. The use of individual circuits to carry voice and short messages are now being replaced by IP-based solutions. The radio access network (RAN) provides the radio access technology. Much of that cellular hardware is now being “virtualized” in the data center.
Alcatel-Lucent is delivering virtualized mobile network functions to KT with evolved packet core (EPC), IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) and radio access network (RAN).
Cloud RAN virtualizes the hardware. Hardware that was once located on the mast or at the base of a cellular tower is now being replaced by software running in a data center, creating a virtualized radio network. A fiber link connects the remote RF head to the data center. Alca-Lu’s CloudBand platform is one of the leaders bringing cloud computing and IT technologies to wireless networks.
China Mobile showed VoLTE via virtualized network at Mobile World Congress using Alcatel-Lucent’s virtualized proof of concept LTE RAN basestation and virtualized evolved packet core solutions.
The Alcatel-Lucent opened a Customer Network Center in Japan this month. It was created to make the trend towards cloud-based networking, tangible for customers. It will allow for demos and interoperability testing of virtualized solutions over the CloudBand NFV platform to support Alcatel-Lucent’s Japan NFV/Network Transformation initiative which is already under way in Japan.
Alcatel-Lucent’s Light Radio uses smart active antenna arrays to deliver multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) gains and sophisticated beamforming in a very small footprint. RF energy can then be dynamically beamed where it is needed based on changes in cell loading and traffic density.
Saudi Arabia’s Mobily is the first service provider globally to deploy Alcatel-Lucent’s lightRadio Wireless Cloud Element Radio Network Controller (WCE RNC), a new platform that underpins Alcatel-Lucent’s virtualized LTE RAN activities.
Alcatel-Lucent is collaborating with Intel to speed industry move to cloud-based radio access networks while China Mobile conducted a proof of concept demonstration of Lucent’s Cloud RAN at Mobile World Congress 2014.
Alcatel-Lucent and Qualcomm are collaborating to develop small cell base stations that enhance 3G, 4G and WiFi networks to improve wireless connectivity in residential and enterprise environments.
Small cells aren’t just about adding coverage. Location-based services with targeted marketing and advertising are big drivers.