T-Mobile US completed its virtualized packet core buildout using Cisco’s distributed software defined network (SDN) architecture – supporting 70 million customers.
Cisco and T-Mobile also signed a five-year agreement to continue buildout of T-Mobile’s 5G Packet Core and Policy Suite, spanning hardware, software and services.
Cisco’s Ultra Virtual Packet Core & Policy solution will support T-Mobile to deploy 5G nationwide, while realizing the full potential of virtualization and cloud to offer its customers new services faster.
“We shifted from a centralized to a distributed core architecture across our footprint with the assistance of virtualization,” said Neville Ray, chief technology officer of T-Mobile.
T-Mobile is laying the groundwork for 5G now with its rapid 600 MHz deployments. It will launch 5G for customers in 2019 when smartphones become available, with nationwide coverage in 2020.
“The size and scope of this project with T-Mobile marks a milestone as the largest virtual packet core operating today,” said Jonathan Davidson, senior vice president, Service Provider Business, Cisco.
Cisco on automation
Cisco earlier said the ASR 9000 routing platform — powered by Cisco IOS XR software — is automation ready. Service providers can use Cisco Crosswork Network Automation portfolio for their multi-vendor networks.
Cisco has supplied ASR 9000 edge routing platform to more than 4500 service provider, enterprise and public sector customers to manage and deliver billions of connections over their networks — in the past ten years.
Cisco is now offering network-wide pay-as-you-grow license pooling, allowing ports on the new-generation line cards to be activated on-demand, within deployed or new ASR 9000 chassis.
This means customers need not forecast capacity and purchase licenses on a site-by-site basis. Cisco can allocate licenses dynamically across global networks, assisting TSPs in optimizing Capex spend and simplifying capacity planning with a full network view.
VNF market report
Telecom virtual network functions (VNF) market revenue will double in 2018 from $2.5 billion in 2017 due to early 5G deployments, IDC said.
Wireline initiatives such as vCPE, CORD, and HERD will also drive the VNF market. The VNF market will grow to $16.4 billion in 2022 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 45.4 percent.
Wireless infrastructure is the largest contributor to the VNF and is expected to continue to be the largest contributor in 2022 followed by routing.
5G will continue to be a big driver of wireless infrastructure VNF growth, while the move to virtual routing in edge and access use cases will drive routing VNF growth more than overall VNF market growth rates.
“Software-defined networking and deploying network functions in virtualized form factors are a strategic necessity for carriers,” said Rajesh Ghai, research director, Carrier Network Infrastructure research at IDC.