SKT joins forces with Samsung, HPE, Intel on 5G NFV | Light Reading

SKT joins forces with Samsung, HPE, Intel on 5G NFV | Light Reading

In an attempt to speed up commercialization of 5G-based NFV, SK Telecom (SKT) has signed an MoU with Samsung Electronics, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Intel.

Specifically, the four companies have signed up to “jointly develop evolved NFV technologies for 5G network infrastructure, establish a standardized process for adoption of NFV, and develop technologies that can harness the capabilities of the virtualized network.”

The idea is to reduce the time required to validate and integrate technologies from various vendors, as well as verify them within the network. “This will result in a more rapid introduction of new innovative technologies that enhance end user experience,” claimed the quartet.

Bigger industry picture
The collaboration is not just for SKT’s benefit. The four reckoned that mobile network operators (MNOs) in general stood to benefit from a “significantly reduced time-to-market for the latest 5G services,” such as augmented and virtual reality.

“Previously,” they maintained, “[MNOs] had to install each new hardware equipment or upgrade existing ones to introduce a new service.”

Roh Wonil, head of product strategy at Samsung’s network business, expressed high expectations for the project.

“As more operators look to virtualized networks, this collaboration will serve as an exemplar of transforming legacy networks to virtual networks,” he asserted.

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To create the evolved NFV platform on SKT’s 5G network, the Samsung 5G solution is incorporating kit from Intel and HPE.

Intel is chipping in with its “latest technologies,” including Intel Xeon processors, Ethernet n800 series network adapters and solid-state drives. HPE brings to the party its ProLiant servers.

As for SKT, it plans to establish a “process” for 5G network virtualization. This includes interconnecting its 5G core network to Samsung’s virtualized 5G solutions.

When this system will be up and running in SKT’s 5G network, or available to other MNOs should they want it, was not made clear.

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Ken Wieland, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

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