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Japan's DoCoMo Verifies Feasibility of Network Functions Virtualization

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Japan's NTT DoCoMo announced that working separately with three different vendors Alcatel Lucent, Cisco and NEC it has completed proof of concept (PoC) trials verifying the feasibility of network functions virtualization (NFV).

Using the virtualized Evolved Packet Core (EPC), the core network of LTE systems, DoCoMo and each of the three vendors verified network control mechanisms, such as scalable user-data processing capability that can handle concentrated user traffic and improve service delivery stability by means of automatic network-recovery techniques in the event of hardware failure.

Following the successful PoC trials, DoCoMo now aims to commercially deploy services utilizing a virtualized mobile network by March 2016. The company has been collaborating with the three vendors on this feasibility verification since November 2013.

"NFV is highly expected to change the ecosystem of network industries," said Seizo Onoe, Executive Vice President and Chief Technical Officer at DoCoMo. "But without a high degree of collaboration among the players, such hopes could end up like pie in the sky. Therefore, I am delighted that we have been successfully collaborating in PoC trials with the industry's leading vendors."

NFV is expected to offer key advantages, such as improved connectivity for dense data traffic, operational sustainability when network equipment fails, promptness of new service delivery and high cost effectiveness. NFV has attracted the attention of industrial groups and IT vendors, who have been accelerating efforts to standardize architecture and design cutting-edge products since 2012.

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Tags: ntt docomo  alcatel-lucent  cisco  nec  Japan