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Press Release -- February 26th, 2017
Source: Ericsson

Telstra advances cloud strategy virtualizing network functions and media workloads

  • Telstra first in Australia to deliver live mobile traffic over a virtualized network function
  • Ericsson Network Functions Virtualization infrastructure (NFVi) and virtual Evolved Packet Core enable Telstra to deliver better service to customers via faster service creation and industry specific network slices
  • Telstra will be one of the first operators to virtualize broadcast media workloads on cloud infrastructure

Ericsson and Telstra have achieved significant progress on deployment of Telstra’s network cloud infrastructure for virtualization of network functions (Network Cloud) and the development of a new cloud platform for broadcast media workloads (Media Cloud).

Telstra and Ericsson have made the first video call using the Ericsson virtual Evolved Packet Gateway (EPG), a virtual network function (VNF), demonstrating the stability of the platform. Further VNF’s from Ericsson and third parties will be added as Telstra enters the second phase of the network virtualization program.

Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) provides Telstra with a more flexible core network platform from which it can provide agile service creation and network slices to deliver solutions optimized for the needs of different industries, and is an important step to ready Telstra’s mobile core network for 5G. Network slicing is a way to tailor network functionality and characteristics towards different services, customers and industries over a shared infrastructure.

In addition to virtualizing network functions, Telstra will extend the Ericsson Cloud platform, specially configured to carry dedicated broadcast media workloads. The first uses of media cloud will enable processing and distribution of high bandwidth intensive broadcast media workloads as well as allow agile advanced broadcast services to be deployed across Telstra’s network.

Setting up broadcast configured cloud processing, storage and network capabilities will support running traditional media applications where and when they are needed. The media cloud will allow for the processing and production of live or near live content ready for broadcast, without contention, along with other workloads. The media cloud will also support the deployment of advanced content distribution and next-generation head-end delivery functions. The head-end enables encoding, packaging and advanced streaming, functions that can be orchestrated across the network base where needed due to the shift in technology to cloud friendly micro-services based on product architectures, thus improving operational efficiency and customer experience.

Mike Wright, Telstra Group Managing Director, Networks, says: “Virtualization of network functions is a complex engineering activity and we are pleased to be making this early progress on our virtualization program. Delivery of live traffic on our NFVi platform is an important step towards preparing the Telstra mobile network for 5G, where capabilities such as network slicing allows combinations of capacity, speed, latency, quality of service and geographic delivery to meet different business requirements.”

The conversion of key product architectures into cloud-friendly micro-services and placing them inside of Ericsson’s media-enabled NFVi platform is designed to support broadcasters with high-value media functions such as ingest, compression, storage, transcoding, reformatting and playout. In this way, the broadcaster gets all the advantages of a true cloud, running on highly available, high bandwidth networks necessary to support the uncontented workloads required for the industry shift to IP. This advancement will also reduce storage and transport costs, improve resiliency, whist reducing production timelines.

“Our goal for the broadcast sector is to provide reliable and resilient network access, with high bandwidth and latency requirements, supporting broadcasters in their shift toward use of IP processing for broadcast content,” says Wright.

Emilio Romeo, CEO Ericsson Australia, says: “Delivery of live traffic over virtualized network functions is an important step in delivering the mobile network for the future. Increasingly, operator’s customers are looking for mobile services that are optimized for their needs. Additionally, the establishment of media cloud capabilities will enable the processing and distribution of bandwidth intensive broadcast workloads assisting broadcasters to improve workflows.”

In February 2016, Telstra deploys Ericsson Telecom Cloud in full stack was announced. The agreement includes a nationwide deployment of Ericsson’s new Hyperscale Datacenter System 8000, Ericsson Cloud Execution Environment, Ericsson Cloud Manager, Ericsson Cloud SDN and Ericsson VNFs such as virtual Evolved Packet Core (vEPC) and virtual IP Multimedia System (vIMS).

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