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HPE OpenNFV vIMS Solution with Metaswitch



Author: Dinesh Solanki, Senior Global Product Line Manager, NFV Solutions, Hewlett Packard Enterprise



As per a report published by GSMA in January 2017, the number of operators that have launched Long-Term Evolution (LTE) worldwide has reached 580. This should not be a surprise given the popularity of data-hungry smartphones, mobile tablets, mobile laptops, and other mobile devices. However, deploying LTE in a Communication Service Provider (CSP) network brings unique challenges as related to supporting mobile voice services.


There are a number of architecture options that can support both mobile data and mobile voice in a CSP’s LTE network. One such architecture option is to keep mobile voice and mobile data networks separate and provide mobile voice services using circuit switch fall back. Another option is to use a single IP-based network to provide both mobile data and mobile voice services.


Using circuit switched networks for mobile voice and LTE packet core for mobile data simplifies the operations and leverages the existing investments in circuit switched networks that are needed to provide mobile voice services to 2G/3G subscribers. However with circuit switch fall back, subscribers cannot use mobile data services while using mobile voice services hence resulting in poor customer experience. Moreover, it is not a profitable long-term strategy maintaining multiple, disparate networks.


With the rise of Internet of Things (IoT), CSPs are looking to maximize their radio spectrum investments – either by completely retiring their 2G/3G networks or by utilizing their 2G/3G networks for IoT use cases. In either case, they are shutting down their circuit switched networks and migrating all their subscribers to LTE.


LTE networks are pure-IP based networks starting from the User Equipment (UE). In order to provide mobile voice services using LTE networks (also known as VoLTE), CSPs have to deploy IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS). IMS is an access-independent core network technology that provides multimedia (including voice, video, and data) services over IP-based networks hence resulting in a single network to maintain. The same IMS network core can be used to provide voice services over other access technologies such as Voicer over WiFi (VoWiFi). IMS also gives a competitive advantage to CSPs because of built-in mechanisms for Quality of Service (QoS) to provide a richer user experience for real-time multimedia applications such as enhanced voice, video sharing, push-to-talk, WebRTC, presence, network directory, augmented reality, virtual reality, online games and other differentiated services.


This trend for using IMS architecture to provide mobile voice services is clear by the same report from GSMA – the number of mobile operators that have launched Video/Voice over LTE has reached to 102. CSPs today use physical appliances for various IMS nodal functions (P/I/S-CSCF, TAS, BGCF, MGCF, MGW, SGW, etc.). However, the popularity of Over the Top (OTT) voice providers, such as Skype, is forcing CSPs to find less expensive ways to provide VoLTE/VoWiFi services.


In order to surmount these challenges, CSPs are looking towards Network Functional Virtualization (NFV) based solutions – including Virtualized IMS (vIMS). By moving the functions of the network from dedicated, proprietary hardware platforms to high-volume, general-purpose computing platforms, and open-source software, CSPs are able to reduce network costs while improving the speed of the enhancements to their networks. At the same time, they are able to increase innovation and to quickly roll-out new services through an open partner ecosystem.


There are so many vIMS solution choices for a CSP. However, not all vIMS solutions are created equal. Before selecting a vIMS vendor, a CSP needs to ask the following questions:

  • Is this a best of breed solution – a cloud-native implementation of VNF software and uses microservice architecture or is it just simple porting of appliance software?
  • Is this vendor able to support all geographies in which one operates?
  • Does this vendor provide end-to-end virtualization stack?
  • Is the solution open? Is this vendor willing to support 3rd party components, if desired?
  • Does the solution support telco-grade reliability, high-availability, and performance?
  • Does the solution result in real savings – both capital and operating?
  • Is the solution hardened, mature and field proven?
  • Is the solution ready to be evolved to provide next-generation services?


HPE and Metaswitch vIMS Solution Overview

The hardened, pre-integrated ETSI compliant HPE and Metaswitch vIMS solution is based upon a standards-based architecture that promotes an open ecosystem and facilitates rapid deployment. The figure below shows the joint HPE and Metaswitch vIMS solution that uses mature solution components.


Figure1_HPE_&_Metaswitch_vIMS_Solution.png Figure 1. HPE and Metaswitch vIMS Solution


HPE and Metaswtch vIMS solution has following key differentiators:

  • Prevalidated offering
  • An open modular framework that allows CSPs choice of different VNF, if so desired
  • Use of open source components (OpenStack®)
  • Carrier-grade performance and reliability using Helion OpenStack® Carrier Grade on NFV System
  • NFV Optimized VNFs – design, performance, reliability and scalability
  • Global services and support


To download and read the full whitepaper, go here.


Learn more:

Follow us on Twitter at @HPE_NFV and @HPE_CSP.

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