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Telefónica hails success of virtualisation technology tests on ZTE’s Cloud Unicore

Mobile comms equipment maker ZTE and telco Telefónica have jointly tested a range of virtual network functions (VNFs) from ZTE’s Cloud UniCore portfolio.

The successful trial runs of ZTE’s vIMS and vSBC, two VNFs offered within Cloud UniCore, were conducted in Telefónica’s NFV Reference Lab in Madrid, Spain. The tests were conducted using OpenMANO stack, a new module for creating and running of complex networks.

The partners say the results of the VNF benchmarking exercise show the performance range that service providers can expect from a software-defined network infrastructure.

Though performance data has not been released, ZTE has claimed that both of its VNFs supported high levels of call attempts per second (CAPS) capacity and throughput with ‘excellent’ mean opinion scores (MOS) on an standard Intel-based server.

According to Javier Gavilán, Planning and Technology Director at Telefónica, the results delivered were ‘outstanding’ and met Telefónica’s expected performance levels and deployment objectives. ZTE and Telefónica will continue testing other elements of ZTE’s NFV portfolio in the coming months. “Telefónica has been and will be quite active on the evolution of network virtualisation technologies,” said Gavilan.

Cloud UniCore is based on virtualisation technology with software and hardware decoupling. Hardware resources are virtualised and a variety of applications can be run from the same virtualised hardware platform. The new service configuration and provisioning process will shrink from several weeks to several minutes, claimed Antonio Elizondo, Head of Network Virtualisation Strategy at Telefónica. To date, ZTE’s virtualised core networks run in 5 commercial and 28 trial projects across the world.

The virtualisation testing news came as Telefónica announced it will launch video services in seven new Latin American markets in 2016. The services, mainly video on demand and linear television channels, will be available in Ecuador, Uruguay, Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua with launches to be staggered throughout 2016. Dates of service launches in each nation are to be confirmed.

Telefónica currently offers IPTV, DTH, CATV, VoD and OTT in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela through different platforms.

In Brazil, at the end of the third quarter of 2015, Telefónica had increased its number of pay-TV customers by more than 150% year on year, after the integration of new technology.

Currently, Telefónica has 4.5 million pay-TV customers in Latin America and 8.2 million in total.

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