Experience in developing and operating NFV and future expansion

Published on:
Monday, 19th April, 2021
Presented by:
Mr. Yuya Kuno, DOCOMO Communications Lab

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Abstract/Presentation overview

This presentation will introduce to the audience the development, commercialization, and future roadmap of NFV from a telecom operator perspective.

NTT DOCOMO already deployed and migrated over 50% of core  Network Functions onto an NFV platform with multi-vendor components. The commercialization of 4G services based on NFV has been successful. From such a good experience of applying NFV technologies into the core network, NTT DOCOMO has also plans to extend their use into the RAN domain. In the presentation, key technical issues based on more than 5 years of experience in large-scale commercial operation will be introduced alongside to references to the ETSI NFV standards that have been leveraged and have helped providing a stable   NFV platform with modularized components.

For the future roadmap, NTT DOCOMO expects to fully leverage the long experience in NFV to introduce 5G services with 5GC. As already introduced in the 4G era, virtualization technology is expected to play a key role in addressing the demanded requirements in 5G era and beyond. For 5G, telecom operators require expanded connectivity for new  services and customer experiences, as well as high reliability and high-quality connectivity. Fulfillment of these conflicting requirements is a big challenge for telecom operators.

On the one hand, to achieve the required expansion of connectivity, introduction and dissemination of new technology are key. But for this, we also need unified goals and good collaboration across multiple standardization and open source players. On the other hand, for achieving high reliability and high quality connectivity, NTT DOCOMO envisages the adoption of more open technology to facilitate the easy maintenance and sustainability of  product development, commercial introduction and service provisioning to customers. The expectations are that virtualization and Cloud technologies will boost further economic efficiency and network reliability, while ensuring better support for customer service and faster services release  . Even though more services lifecycle dynamicity can be achieved, the presentation will highlight important aspects for guaranteeing long-term (10 years or more) continuous maintenance of customer services based on new solutions considered in the development of 5GC.

With this presentation, NTT DOCOMO will introduce the key aspects and architecture of next-generation virtualization infrastructure to fulfill some  of these requirements. The presentation will provide insights on the development and implementation of such infrastructure and architecture for actual 5GC services commercialization. The presentation will provide information about required functional components configuration, network configuration and important operations with example case studies. The presentation will also introduce the challenges to be solved in the future, which were found in our implementation and evaluation, and conclude with the expectations for standardization in the areas of network virtualization and Cloudification applicable to the new application domains such as RAN and 5GC.


Yuya Kuno

NFV and OSS developer, NTT DOCOMO, Inc.


Yuya Kuno is engineer of the network management and orchestration group of the core network development department in NTT DOCOMO, in Japan, which he joined in 2004, and where he is currently designing the operation of core network using NFV and developing MANO for commercial mobile systems. In the ETSI NFV, Yuya Kuno is currently working on rapporteur ship of SOL002.

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