Alcatel-Lucent claims NFV first with China Mobile

Alcatel-Lucent, fresh from signing a billion dollar contract with China’s two leading operators, has laid claim to a live NFV first alongside China Mobile. The kit vendor reckons it has conducted the industry’s first field trial of the virtualized-RAN.

The trial took place at Tisinghua University in Beijing, and Alcatel-Lucent says not only does it help advance the progress of NFV, making its potential edge ever-closer to realisation, but that it could also be construed as a significant building block for both 5G and IoT. Glenn Booth, SVP and GM of the infrastructure vendor’s LTE business, commented to the same effect.

“Alcatel-Lucent is committed to delivering the latest innovations that enable our customers to get the most out of their LTE networks and enable a smooth path to 5G,” he said. “This trial is a prime example of how we are working with customers to develop, test and deploy networks with the highest performance and efficiencies and the lowest cost.”

The trial involved a full campus roll-out of the vRAN solution, trialling use of the tech at the university across 442 hectares and covered nearly 57,000 students and teachers. Indoor and outdoor coverage was demonstrated, and Alcatel-Lucent said it successfully achieved the many characteristics of NFV; flexibility, scalability, cost and energy efficiency.

China Mobile’s chief scientist, Chih-Lin I, reckons technology achievements such as vRAN will have significant effect on the advancement of IoT.

“The vRAN technology will allow us to deliver new efficiencies across our network as our customers’ data demands change and more devices connect to our network,” she said. “We are interested to see how the deployment of Alcatel-Lucent’s vRAN will help us to smoothly evolve our networks to meet these demands.”

Alcatel-Lucent has been pretty active with the operator community in the space recently, having announced its intentions last week to extend its NFV research and testing partnership with Telefónica.

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