Docomo tests virtualised Evolved Packet Core

Japanese carrier NTT Docomo and local equipment vendor NEC said Monday they have successfully virtualised the Evolved Packet Core (EPC) in joint verification tests to support the functions required for Network Functions Virtualization (NFV).

The aim is to enable faster delivery of new telecom services and boost performance by applying virtualization technology to EPC software that takes on LTE data communication functions. The tests confirmed EPC’s ability to adaptively boost processing capabilities through controls from the system that manages EPC in response to how much data customers use.

The two companies checked the platform’s performance during a breakdown in hardware functions, when a backup structure was quickly and automatically constructed using different hardware in order to sustain stable data communications.

“NFV is highly expected to bring changes in the ecosystem of network industries,” said Seizo Onoe, executive VP and CTO at DOCOMO. “Nonetheless, unless there’s a high degree of collaboration between players, this would end up being a pie in the sky.”

Earlier this month, Docomo farmed out trial contracts to several big infrastructure vendors, including NEC, in order to pilot 5G mobile network technologies, promising data rates of 10Gbps.

Ericsson, Nokia, NEC, Alcatel-Lucent, Samsung and Fujitsu have all been selected to work on a 5G proof of concept system, using the 15GHz frequency band for the air interface as well as exploring the potential of millimetre wave technology at the 70GHz spectrum band.

The inaugural 5G World Summit is taking place on the 23rd-26th June 2014, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. Click here to download a brochure for the event.

DoCoMo, which was a pioneer in WCDMA and LTE development, will also investigate enhanced time-domain beamforming technologies with a very large number of antennas for small cell deployments and improved Multi User MIMO technology that can cover multiple users simultaneously while reducing interference.

DoCoMo aims to launch commercial services in 2020 and is expected to address the issue of the sharp rise in traffic by offering more than one thousand times the capacity of LTE and guaranteeing cell-edge rates in excess of 100Mbps and latency reductions by a factor of ten.

In other Docomo news, the Japanese operator and Evernote have struck an agreement to offer Evernote Business to companies in Japan through DoCoMo’s corporate sales channel beginning July 1. The partnership with DoCoMo is Evernote’s first reseller agreement worldwide.

DoCoMo will market Evernote Business through its Business Plus corporate cloud service. The DoCoMo sales channel will offer business customers in Japan more convenient and secure access to Evernote Business, with easier billing.

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