Telefónica and NEC Trial Virtual Set-Top Box in Brazil

  • Posted on: 9 January 2014
  • By: Patrick Oliphant

As a virtualisation professional I was excited to learn that Telefónica and NEC are working together to use virtualisation as part of their communication and home entertainment platform. The platform will form part of Telefónica Set-Top Box solution – called, the virtualized customer-premises equipment (vCPE). The solution is due to start its trial early this year in Brazil.

According to Telefónica they will achieve the virtualise solution by supplying the physical equipment (modem, switch, and WiFi access point) to the users premises but unlike before the software side will reside in the cloud.  The platform will allow Telefónica to update or deploy services quickly, without having to visit or replace any customer equipment.

The vCPE is based on the CentOS enterprise-Linux operating system and KVM virtualization and forms part of the “NEC Telecom Carrier SDN Solutions”, a portfolio of solutions based on Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) technologies. As part of the solution NEC will provide a carrier-grade broadband remote access server (B-RAS) and carrier-grade network address translation (NAT).

Telefónica and NEC seem to be onto something will has the potential to offer Telefónica and other service providers a lot of savings. If it all goes will, Telefónica would deploy simpler equipment to the customer’s premises but still offer advance services.  Also system upgrades such as the roll out of IPv6 will be much easier than it is on current equipment.

As a result, end users will experience rapid service deployment and improved network operation and maintenance benefits. To achieve this, Telefónica and NEC will be conducting a series of field trials in Brazil, where Telefónica provides broadband access services to millions of homes and businesses with the objective of having a solution ready for deployment  by July of 2014.