ZTE, HP and China Unicom prove that VoLTE can be virtualized in 4G

Running voice services over a virtualized 4G network works and ZTE, HP and China Unicom claim to have the evidence.

The telecoms kit manufacturer, IT vendor and telco have been working together on a project to test how network functions virtualization (NFV) technology can be used to divide up portions of the LTE network, in order to maximise the capacity for running voice services without sacrificing integrity. The test, carried out in Shenzhen China, indicated that NFV-based VoLTE can run without any degradation in the quality of service.

The proof of concept (PoC) project involved testing the entire range of ZTE’s vEPC and vIMS lines. Experiments on the mobile telecom equipment maker’s kit examined the interoperability of management and orchestration (MANO) functions and interfaces. In other exercises, the examiners tested the efficiency of virtualized network function (VNF) lifecycle management under lab conditions. Other areas of theoretical testing included VNF disaster recovery and maintenance management, VoLTE end-to-end functionality and performance, data plane acceleration and a range of packet domain gateway functions.

In order to comply with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) reference architecture, the project was completed using HP’s C7000 Blade server, with a virtualized infrastructure manager (VIM) provided by ZTE and HP. The project used ZTE’s vEPC, vIMS, VNF Manager and element management system. HP and ZTE jointly provide an NFV Orchestrator.

According to ZTE it now has virtualized core networks across five commercial systems and 28 trial projects globally.

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