Alcatel-Lucent and Telefónica explore implementation of NFV to accelerate the transformation of networks

Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) and Telefónica have signed a memorandum of understanding under which the companies will test NFV (network functions virtualization) technologies as part of the operator’s strategy to evolve its networking infrastructure. The work will focus on enhancing network performance and efficiencies to support ever-growing demand for flexible connectivity.

Telefónica has already tested Alcatel-Lucent’s Virtualized Service Router in its NFV Reference Lab using the OpenMANO NFV orchestration stack. The results delivered were outstanding, reaching 100% line-rate performance which allowed data to be transported with zero losses. The companies will continue testing other elements of Alcatel-Lucent’s NFV portfolio in the coming months.

The new MoU renews and expands the companies’ February 2014 agreement which announced the application of Alcatel-Lucent’s CloudBand™ platform to advance NFV implementation. Under the new agreement, Alcatel-Lucent and Telefónica will investigate how mobile networks can be transformed to meet demands being placed on them by the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and increased customer connectivity.

NFV offers new efficiencies and automation to simplify network operations, allowing service providers to increase innovation and offer new revenue-generating services with a consistent high quality end-user experience, while lowering costs.

Key Facts:

  • Alcatel-Lucent and Telefónica share the same vision for the evolution of networks towards the 2020 horizon, where NFV plays a major role.
  • As part of their collaboration, at Mobile World Congress 2015, Alcatel-Lucent and Telefónica jointly demonstrated Alcatel-Lucent’s mobile solution as part of a fully virtualized network, including the vRAN, vCDN, vEPC and vIMS. Telefónica also took part in a four-way video-conference using the Alcatel-Lucent virtualized mobile network including VoLTE.
  • More recently, the Alcatel-Lucent Virtualized Service Router has delivered outstanding performance results during testing in Telefónica’s NFV Reference Lab with 100% line-rate performance (zero losses). The VSR is designed to operate in any virtualized environment. Because it is supported by the same Alcatel-Lucent Service Router Operator System and managed by the 5620 Service Aware Manager, service providers such as Telefónica can seamlessly deploy it alongside hardware-based routers.
  • Next steps in lab testing will be to test the VSR in a production environment as well as testing other elements of Alcatel-Lucent’s NFV portfolio including the virtualized evolved packet core, virtualized Session Border Controller and the vCPE.
  • Alcatel-Lucent and Telefónica announced plans in 2012 to streamline the operator’s OSS using Alcatel-Lucent’s Motive® Automated Operations & Recovery service assurance. Under the scope of the collaboration agreement, the companies will investigate use of the Motive Dynamic Operations portfolio to extend the OSS capabilities to a virtualized network environment.
  • Alcatel-Lucent has proven leadership in both wireless networks and virtualization, and has already introduced technologies to virtualize a wide range of network functions, including the evolved packet core (vEPC), IP Multimedia Subsystem (vIMS), Content Delivery Network (vCDN) and service routing (VSR), and demonstrated its vRAN solution at Mobile World Congress 2015.
  • Alcatel-Lucent’s NFV leadership is underpinned by its application of the CloudBand NFV platform in over 30 customer projects – and via its CloudBand Ecosystem Program, consisting of over 60 members, including Telefónica. The company is also levering its extensive Nuage Networks SDN capabilities including the Virtualized Network Services (VNS) and Virtualization Services Assurance platform. In May this year Alcatel-Lucent launched a carrier SDN platform that unifies service automation with network optimization – the Network Services Platform.


Enrique Blanco Global CTO, Telefónica, said: “We are pleased to continue our work with Alcatel-Lucent on the use of NFV technologies to transform future networks. We have already seen an outstanding performance in the testing of Alcatel-Lucent’s VSR, showing that it delivers comparable performance to hardware-based routers. Use of these technologies will open up new opportunities as we continue innovating to exceed our customer’s expectations.”

Michel Combes, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent, said: “As innovation leaders, Alcatel-Lucent and Telefónica are aligned on our goal to transform the future of mobile networks. We have a comprehensive portfolio of NFV technologies that can be used to optimize networks and meet the ever-growing connectivity demands of the future.”

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