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Operators: Cloud & Virtualization Are Biggest Opportunities, But Immediate Focus is on Monetization & Traffic Optimization

Cloud technology and network virtualization will be the biggest disruptors, and paramount investment priorities, in the telecoms sector over the next five years. But technology immaturity is delaying telecom cloud deployment decisions. In the meantime, carrier investment is directed toward network traffic optimization and service monetization to deal with the pressing issues of increasing mobile data traffic and cannibalization of operator service revenues. These were the key findings of a global operator survey commissioned by Radisys® Corporation (NASDAQ: RSYS) and undertaken by wireless analysts Senza Fili Consulting prior to Mobile World Congress 2013.

Also anticipated to be the hottest topic at this year’s MWC, cloud technology and network function virtualization are solutions that every operator respondent in the survey said they were committed to rolling out, with 60 percent looking to deploy cloud technology in the next 12 months, and all respondents within four years. Despite this high level of commitment, and surety that cloud technology will bring benefits from flexibility and capex savings, uncertainty remains over which “type” of cloud technology is the most appropriate (public, private, hybrid etc. for central office). More than 75 percent of respondents cited lack of solution maturity in delaying deployment decisions, and nearly a third of respondents said they are still evaluating options.

“The results of our operator survey clearly demonstrate that mobile operators overwhelmingly see the value in cloud technology and the economies of scale that can be achieved through network function virtualization,” said Manish Singh, CTO of Radisys. “However, not all network functions are equally suited for virtualization and workload consolidation. There is still confusion from operators on how best to deliver their cloud vision and how mature the technology is. This is why carriers are taking time to weigh up their options.”

Despite the uncertainty, more than half of those that have decided on an actual deployment solution have all opted to use virtualized ATCA platforms to deliver their cloud technology vision. An ATCA platform allays all fears over cloud technology maturity as it is already standardized to carrier grade levels. Not only can it deliver all the standard requirements for a telecom network but an ATCA platform also enables an operator to rapidly increase the time in which they can virtualize their network functions and lower the investment risks of transitioning to a cloud technology based architecture.

Singh continued, “The industry should embrace the principles of cloud technology, but must ensure that the telecom cloud caters for the demands of the telecom network itself. A public cloud cannot stand up to these high requirements from a central office point of view. The clear choice to facilitate this is a private telecom cloud, in which network functions – both hardware and software – are virtualized. For those operators bold enough to have made their choice, an ATCA platform has become the early leading choice for cloud technology delivery. This is due to the fact that ATCA ensures operators can realize cloud technology for their central office – but need make no compromises on strategic telecom infrastructure requirements.”

The survey also asked operator respondents about the types of services and functions that they expect to deploy and that they see as significant in the next five years. VoLTE was cited as one of the main applications best suited to cloud technology and network virtualization, with 71 percent of operators identifying its significance. This response highlights the important role VoLTE will play in driving the requirement for new cloud technology architectures. The survey also found that operators see RCS as a strategic winning weapon against OTTs. Within the 3GPP standards for IMS is a defined role for the Media Resource Function (MRF) that provides the media processing for real-time voice communication services such as VoLTE. Already a leader in MRF products and technologies, including the supply of MRF into the world’s first VoLTE deployment at MetroPCS, Radisys is seeing immense opportunities for mobile operators.

Radisys T-Series ATCA platforms

As the market becomes saturated with new smart devices that are driving the data deluge and demand for more bandwidth, network operators and Telecom Equipment Manufacturers (TEMs) are challenged to increase profitability while driving improved customer experience and optimize bandwidth while monetizing the network. Radisys developed its T-Series ATCA Platforms to addresses operators’ struggle to increase service profitability by delivering a 50 percent cost-per-bit reduction over existing systems. The pre-integrated platform helps TEMs deliver the highest performance solutions for tomorrow’s network infrastructure needs while increasing their velocity to market.

T-Series platforms are telecom-grade systems, built to NEBS specifications, and pre-integrated with the largest selection of ATCA blades. They are built on cutting-edge processors and software to provide a robust, high-performance solution that provides both cost effective elasticity and the carrier class requirements needed for telecom-grade applications. As such, Radisys ATCA platforms represent the foundational building blocks for telecom cloud service deployment.

Radisys Media Resource Function (MRF)

VoLTE is based on an IMS architecture, with IP media processing delivered by the MRF. VoLTE is provided, alongside data and video, through a single IP-based converged packet core, driving CAPEX and OPEX savings, while freeing up 3G spectrum for future 4G growth. However, offering VoLTE is more than simple point-to-point calling. VoLTE requires transcoding capabilities between the AMR-WB codec used in VoLTE and legacy codecs. It includes supporting audio VAS services in an IP environment, including audio ring-back tones, conferencing, advertising and IVR services. Radisys’ MRF is designed to support all these IMS requirements for VoLTE services, with extra differentiators such as Voice Quality Enhancement (VQE) feature set, delivering echo cancellation, noise reduction and packet loss concealment specifically designed for mobile VoIP services.

To download a copy of the Operator Survey findings, please visit: www.radisys.com/2ndAnnualOperatorSurvey.

About Radisys

Radisys (NASDAQ: RSYS) is a market leader enabling wireless infrastructure solutions for telecom, aerospace and defense applications. Radisys' market-leading ATCA, MRF (Media Resource Function) and COM Express platforms coupled with world-renowned Trillium software, services and market expertise enable customers to bring high-value products and services to market faster with lower investment and risk. Radisys solutions are used in a wide variety of 3G & 4G / LTE mobile network applications including: Radio Access Networks (RAN) solutions from femtocells to picocells and macrocells, wireless core network applications, Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) and policy management; conferencing and media services including voice, video and data, as well as customized mobile network applications that support the aerospace and defense markets.

Radisys® is a registered trademark of Radisys. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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