SK Telecom has a crack at the interoperability puzzle

SK Telecom has launched T-MANO, an NFV MANO platform, its own take on the all-important business of orchestrating the virtualized telecoms world.

T-MANO has been optimized to SK’s network using specifications put forward by the ETSI NFV Industry Specification Group, putting a mark in the win column for the standardization cheerleaders. Virtualization has seen a bit of a faltering roadmap over the last couple of years due to the fact it is actually quite complicated, but SK is showing the world that interoperability is possible.

And it won’t just be the bods at SK Telecom to benefit from the MANO juice, as the team plan to open up the APIs of T-MANO so that anyone can use it to build virtualized network equipment or software.

“With the commercialization of T-MANO, SK Telecom secures the basis for accelerating the application of NFV technologies to provide better services for customers,” said Choi Seung-won, Head of Infrastructure Strategy Office at SK Telecom. “We will continue to develop NFV technologies and accumulate operational knowhow for virtualized networks to thoroughly prepare for the upcoming era of 5G.”

It’s a step in the right direction for the standardization cheerleaders, as SK state the platform allows the management of service quality and data traffic can now be done in an integrated manner regardless of equipment manufacturer. Prior to the launch of T-MANO, the team had to develop, build and operate a separate NFV management platform for each different network equipment, due to the different specifications. It was a time consuming, and potentially, expensive activity, perhaps explaining the staggered progress of virtualization.

The first area to get a bit of the T-MANO juice will be its virtualized VoLTE routers, though it will be expanded to virtualized LTE EPC before too long, and then onto the MMS Server. According to SK Telecom, in 2017, virtualized EPC will take up around 80% of newly deployed EPC, before deploying nothing by virtualized EPC by 2019.

For a more in-depth view on progress at SK Telecom, check out Iain Morris’ piece over on sister-site Light Reading.


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