Smartphones brought in data tsunami, which the operators are still struggling to get out off and the era of digital immediacy has again disrupted the flow. The customer is now more aware and highly demanding as he has much more to choose from and consume.
The customers are changing. They have moved ahead and transformed themselves from ‘Customer 1.0’ using traditional voice and SMS services to ‘Customer 2.0’ gorging on high data with social media, OTT apps and digital care. But Telcos are slow and are still stuck with old maintenance heavy, complex legacy systems, with long project deadlines, upgrades and ever spiralling Opex. As per a recent survey by heavy reading 77% CSP feel digitization is a now a necessity. The first step towards it is building agile networks that can support long term strategy and innovation with consumer behaviour understanding and improved experience at the centre.
CSPs need solutions that promise express roll-outs with single points to multiple locations – quickly deploy new services and allow flexible adaptable network. Traditionally, service deployment from application installation to testing and validation, configuration and service implementation usually takes anywhere between 6- 9 months, and it takes further 3 months to stabilize the system and offer services and start making revenue, with all the possibilities of competition launching the service first.
The NFV Promise
NFV or Network function virtualization promises to reduce VNF service lifecycle management through automation and with automatic resource allocation, service creation and management. NFV enables better service differentiation, digitizes networks with the single most promise of drastic reduction in service lifecycle, which gives CSPs much needed agility they need to respond to dynamic market changes in the competitive market.
NFV orchestration in carrier NFV can be defined as automating provisioning and management in an environment. Elitecore VNF (AAA, PCRF, DSC, Charging gateway) offers rich set of Open APIs to communicate to the orchestrator using standardized interfaces, support end-to-end VNF Life Cycle management in 50% less time than the traditional method; which is a dramatic change in the way service is implemented and made available.
Moreover, NFV optimizes resources by supporting scaling on-demand based on subscriber growth or for peak hours through dynamic allocation – eliminating the need for expensive over-provisioning. It also enhances agility to add new network or new service to help CSP dynamically adapt to market changes as per customer preferences in cost-effective manner to help increase ARPU.
While NFV promises express service delivery, the selection and planning needs to be well thought out and planned. Understanding the right approach to NFV adoption is the key to leveraging the benefits it promises – an open vendor agnostic service layer with OPEN API support rather than choosing applications with proprietary stack and interfaces, which will defeat the purpose of NFV and prove costly, inefficient and time consuming.
Elitecore NFV enabled solutions offer VNF applications capable of running on commercial of-the-shelf hardware. Also, it is in a setup modelled to share resources with the virtualization technology, chained together to perform in sync to deliver an end-to-end service.