Velcom Belarus claims first commercial fully virtualised core network
Belarussian mobile operator Velcom, which is owned by Telekom Austria Group, has conducted a virtualisation project with network vendor ZTE to migrate and transform the core architecture of its network.
All core network components, including the evolved packet core, home location register/home subscriber server (HLR/HSS), mobile switching centre (MSC) and policy and charging rules function (PCRF), were migrated to a fully virtualised platform on OpenStack-based NFV and standard hardware. The project team of velcom and ZTE delivered the project within nine months from contract signature to full deployment.
“With this major step towards the next generation network architecture we are able to significantly reduce our opex spending, benefit from massive economies of scale for further growth and provide highest flexibility and service value to our customers on the way towards a fully cloud-based network architecture,” says Sascha Zabransky, the director of technology at Telekom Austria Group.
By transforming and virtualising its core network into what it calss the vCore, Velcom managed to abolish its legacy silo-based network and significantly cut service running costs, while at the same time ensuring higher flexibility, feature richness and reliability for its customers of voice and packet services. This project is claimed by Velcom to be the only project so far that has addressed a commercial network with more than five million subscribers and addresses the complete scope of a full-service mobile operator. The participants also claim to be the first to have concluded a migration of 100% of subscribers and legacy services within nine months to a virtual core, based completely on network functions virtualisation (NFV)/ commercial off the shelf (COTS) hardware.
Christian Laque, the CTO of Velcom, added: “By merging our joint expertise, we were able to ensure a fast implementation of one of the most advanced core network architecture as well as the migration of 100% of our subscribers in a very short time period. The transformation provides our customers with higher security- and reliability levels. The Velcom brand stands for quality and innovative solutions, thus we are happy to have kept our promise.”
Both Velcom and ZTE are planning to collaborate on further project partnerships in the future.