Wind River, China Mobile Partner to Accelerate NFV for Mobile Networks

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Wind River, a global software provider for intelligent connected systems, and China Mobile have joined forces on multiple Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) projects.

The collaboration includes a new NFV test lab as well as the development of virtualized small cell gateway and cloud radio access network (C-RAN) solutions. The combination of these efforts is designed to help the industry begin to roll out NFV deployments and reduce time-to-market and operating expenses (OPEX).

China Mobile has created a new test lab, based on the OPNFV open source project, focused on accelerating NFV through an integrated, open platform. The OPNFV lab provides a diverse hardware and software infrastructure for open standards-based testing and integration, including live network access. Wind River is one of the founding partners of the test lab.

The lab is able to provide commercial grade NFV platforms, including Wind River Titanium Server software, to support open source development and testing. Offering a rich environment for the testing and evaluation of commercial NFV platforms, the lab provides a variety of participation opportunities for a diverse range of partners across the ecosystem.

In the showcase of its joint virtualized small cell gateway technology, China Mobile and Wind River have demonstrated the feasibility of creating high-performance, high-available data plane virtual network functions (VNFs) at a considerably lower cost and with greatly improved flexibility. As data traffic continues to grow at an exponential rate, small cell base stations are an increasingly attractive option to help expand network capacity.

The virtualized small cell gateway solution features the ASTRI Small Cell Gateway as a VNF on Wind River Titanium Server, running on the Intel® Xeon processor. The ASTRI gateways are designed for offload signaling and mobility management to the mobile core network and were pre-validated and optimized for performance with Titanium Server, a carrier grade NFV infrastructure software solution that is designed to meet the stringent “always on” requirements of the telecom industry.

“The industry is adopting NFV models in order to quickly deploy new services and achieve greater operational cost savings. However, performance and system reliability

cannot be sacrificed. It is essential to maintain carrier grade requirements,” said Zhiqiang Yang, deputy general manager of China Mobile Research Institute. “By working with Wind River, we have made a meaningful step in this promising direction.”

“Data traffic is pushing networks to their limits and operators are looking to deploy NFV technologies for flexible deployment of network applications and services. The complexities around NFV are multi-faceted, and in order to make real progress, it is essential to collaborate with industry leaders like China Mobile,” said Charlie Ashton, senior director of business development for networking solutions at Wind River. “Wind River Titanium Server delivers carrier grade virtualization for NFV infrastructure, helping to enable service providers to gain new flexibility, scalability, and operational cost and energy benefits.”

Additionally, China Mobile and Wind River have developed a C-RAN solution for NFV deployment. The joint solution delivers a live demonstration of a successful C-RAN that provides near-native hardware performance and live migration of L1 to L3, and that follows the requirements of the ETSI NFV Industry Standards Group. The solution will also be demonstrated at Mobile World Congress 2015, and features Wind River Titanium Server technologies running on an Intel Xeon processor-based server with a dedicated hardware accelerator.

“With Wind River’s help, we successfully developed an industry-first virtualized C-RAN base station baseband processing unit (BBU) pool prototype that supports dynamic full carrier live migration while satisfying the stringent real-time requirement of a complete LTE protocol stack,” said Dr. Chih-Lin I, chief scientist at China Mobile Research Institute.

By using Titanium Server as their NFV infrastructure platform, customers may enjoy both the rapid service deployment of enterprise networks coupled with the carrier grade uptime and reliability typically mandated by telecom networks. Based on technologies using open standards including carrier grade Wind River Linux, real-time Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM), carrier grade plugins for OpenStack®, Data Plane Development Kit, and accelerated vSwitch technologies, and optimized for Intel architecture, Titanium Server brings together high performance and carrier grade reliability.

Both the virtualized small cell gateway and the C-RAN demonstration will be showcased at the China Mobile booth in Hall 3, Stand 3A10 at Mobile World Congress 2015. Separately, additional NFV technologies will be on display at the Wind River booth in Hall 7, Stand 7J65.


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TelecomDrive Bureau covers the latest developments happening in the space of communications, devices and innovations in targeted geographies of India, SAARC, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa regions.TelecomDrive Bureau is headed by Zia Askari. He can be reached at ziaaskari@telecomdrive.com