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October 23, 2015
A new start up claims its mobile network virtualisation software can solve a looming traffic crisis in the IoT and save governments billions of pounds as the networks for emergency services are updated.
Berlin based NFV specialist Core Network Dynamics (CND) claims its software will change the way telecoms infrastructures are arranged, creating the possibility for easily configurable networks within network and mini phone masts that can fit on a car dashboard.
Its open version of the enhanced packet core standard function for LTE could liberate mobile operators from the inflexibility imposed on them by infrastructure hardware vendors, it says. This will create more flexible infrastructures which are easier to build and cheaper to run, claims CND CEO Carsten Brinkschulte.
As NFV does for telcos what the cloud did for data centres, Brinkschulte argued, NFV start up companies like CND will create new opportunities for telcos to restructure their networks. CND’s Open Enhanced Packet Core (OEPC), he said, could have two immediate savings for clients. A long term objective would be to help governments replace their TETRA private radio systems for emergency services with an LTE based alternative. CND says it could built a secure, fault tolerant and private network for the emergency services, using LTE technology, at a fraction of the price currently estimated. “The UK government has earmarked around five billion pounds for a TETRA replacement. We estimated we could do it for half of that,” said Brinkschulte.
A more immediate application for OEPC could come in the IoT, which faces a bandwidth crisis as the popularity of machine to machine applications brings millions of devices onto mobile networks. CND claims its OEPC platform can be used to ring fence traffic between devices, by using virtualisation techniques to create private networks. Meanwhile OEPD allows the radio tower function to be installed on smaller, more portable devices, meaning that sub networks can be easily created. According to Brinkschulte, a complete mobile network infrastructure in software can now be run on commodity hardware as small as a Raspberry Pi.
“You can put a mini mobile network on an oil rig now and the software lets it use a satellite as a backhaul,” said Brinkschulte, “all the traffic from all those millions of devices on the Internet of things can be sectioned off from the rest of the network.”
CND is a spinoff from German research institute Fraunhofer FOKUS, which is best known for creating the MP3 standard. Brinkschulte says 55 mobile operators are currently lab testing its OEPC technology.
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