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Operators are facing a dilemma – How to remain profitable while cost-effectively meeting rapidly escalating network capacity demands.
May 29, 2018
Telecoms.com periodically invites third parties to share their views on the industry’s most pressing issues. In this piece John Baker, SVP, Business Development at Mavenir looks at the benefits of the Virtualized Media Breakout Controller.
Operators are facing a dilemma – How to remain profitable while cost-effectively meeting rapidly escalating network capacity demands. Nearly 80 percent of user data that transits an operator’s network is encrypted video that only benefits OTTs. It is in each operator’s best interest to architect the network to off-load this traffic at the nearest point possible.
The Virtualized Media Breakout Controller (vMBC) is the answer – allowing user traffic to offload to the cloud as soon as physically possible. “Approximately 40 percent of video content could be cached at the edge,” according to Iain Gillott, President and founder of iGR. “The trick is to be able to benefit from the feature and operational cost benefits without having to upgrade to 5G architectures.” vMBC makes this possible with an innovative, new white box platform designed to be positioned for cost-effective function at the edge of the network.
Defer Bandwidth Increases for Two years
With bandwidth consumption growing exponentially each year, the vMBC breaks out local traffic and directs it from the network edge, instead of moving it back through a typically centralized packet core. This offloading conserves transport and centralized packet core network assets on both control and user planes.
What does this mean for operators? In one feasibility scenario, iGR estimates that if operators can offload 32 percent of the data from a network site (using a solution such as the vMBC), then they can defer spending on increased bandwidth for more than 25 months. On top of offloading traffic, the vMBC can be combined with additional virtual network functions (VNFs) that provide video optimization and caching as well as virtualized base band Units (vBBUs) for Cloud RAN. This opens the door to using previously excluded fronthaul solutions and processing of the radio interface on COTS processors, with each incremental function significantly and positively impacting Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).
Deploy Anywhere, Even Crowded Cell Sites
A local breakout solution offers the ability to host virtual routing, firewall, and user plane data offload in a single white box routing platform, deployable anywhere at the network edge including cell sites, near-edge data centers, local data centers and enterprise locations. With most cell sites being too crowded to add additional network equipment, the vMBC, along with other VNFs, can be loaded on a compute platform that can directly replace a traditional cell site router, ensuring the integrity of the existing network and seamless integration into next generation MANO operational systems.
Leading the Way to MEC and IoT
vMBC is a key part of MEC (Multi-Access Edge Computing) and IoT initiatives, improving next-generation core network services and providing a path toward 5G and edge computing. The ability to scale network functionality using virtual elements and COTS HW platforms allows network functionality to be deployed at any location.
vMBC is also optimized by design and architecture to support low latency use cases by enabling small form factor user plane deployment at the network edge. This greatly reduces network latency by allowing applications to be located close to where they are deployed, automatically replicating and synchronizing databases across multiple sites, providing complete failover capability. The solution is inherently fault tolerant and can scale without limits.
It’s all happening at the edge.
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