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NEC completes pre-commercial trial of virtual CPE with Telefonica's VIVO in Brazil
Announced Date: 6/22/2016 Published Date: 6/27/2016

NEC has announced the completion of the first phase of a pre-commercial trial for virtual CPE (vCPE) for residential users in the network of Telefonica's Brazilian affiliate VIVO.

The vCPE trial was conducted with existing customers and deployed on the carrier's own commercial network. It leveraged an architecture designed to simplify home deployments by shifting functions onto the carrier's network, as well as to enhance diagnostics and troubleshooting activities to enable operational benefits for the service provider.

NEC noted that Telefonica has pioneered the testing of NFV (network functions virtualisation) technologies, which aligns with its objective of operating as a digital company focused on improving the customer experience. The specific objective of the testing in Brazil, which NEC claims is the first vCPE commercial trial, is to evaluate operational efficiency and flexibility while also accelerating time-to-market for new services.

The companies noted that in October 2013 they were the first to virtualise consumers' broadband gateways. The simplified gateways provide basic connectivity, acting as an access point, switch and modem, with other functionalities such as IP routing (IPv4/v6), DHCP and NAT provided remotely from the network running as virtualised network functions (VNFs) on commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) servers.

Following the completion of the latest trial, and in accordance with the evaluation of the results, NEC and Telefonica aim to start commercial implementation of vCPE in Brazil, with additional deployments within other parts of the Telefonica Group expected to follow.

NEC and its wholly owned subsidiary Netcracker will additionally provide end-to-end SDN/NFV solutions designed to help Telefonica implement its virtualisation projects.

Additionally, in 2015 NEC, NetCracker and Telefónica Business Solutions announced they had successfully completed a proof of concept (PoC) based on SDN/NFV designed to enable Telefónica to accelerate its strategy of automating operations and providing an agile WAN for the business market.

The PoC, combining software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualisation (NFV) technology, enabled enhanced dynamic services for Telefonica's global WAN portfolio for enterprise customers. Telefónica noted at the time that the PoC marked a significant step forward from previous PoCs that involved isolated elements of the solution.

As part of the PoC, NEC, NetCracker and Telefónica built an end-to-end solution for a virtualised VPN service over a vCPE solution with full orchestration and self-care stack provided by NEC/NetCracker, integrated with Telefónica's virtual infrastructure solution and virtual network functions such as a virtual SSL termination gateway and virtual firewall.