The operator says it is the first in the world to complete a fully end-to-end virtualised 5G data session in a live network

Verizon yesterday announced its successful completion of a fully virtualised data session: i.e., using a virtualised core, virtualised RAN (vRAN), and virtualised edge. 

The company says this milestone should aid in the development of their mobile edge computing and network slicing capabilities, as well as signaling the start of their network-wide vRAN rollout.

“Virtualising the entire network from the core to the edge has been a massive, multi-year redesign effort of our network architecture that simplifies and modernizes our entire network,” said Verizon’s SVP of technology and planning, Adam Koeppe, in a statement.

Network virtualisation is the process by which software and hardware functionality are disaggregated, thus allowing the network to be built on more generic hardware. This should ultimately result in additional network agility and flexibility, as well as allowing for rapid upgrades and addition of new services, such as edge computing.

“Massive scale IOT solutions, more robust consumer devices and solutions, AR/VR, remote healthcare, autonomous robotics in manufacturing environments, and ubiquitous smart city solutions are only some of the ways we will be able to deliver the promise of the digital world.  Advancements in virtualisation technology are critical steps towards that realisation,” said Koeppe.

With a decreased reliance on end-to-end solutions from major vendors, it is hoped that this network virtualisation will allow for the development of a wider and more varied vendor ecosystem.

Verizon is not the only US operator moving ahead with their network virtualisation plans. AT&T said at the start of the year that it was aiming for 75% network virtualisation by the end of 2020. 

Meanwhile, T-Mobile launched their standalone 5G network at the start of this month, boosting their coverage by 30% and claiming to have taken a significant lead over their rival networks.

“This is where it gets interesting, opening the door for massive innovation in this country – and while the other guys continue to play catch up, we’ll keep growing the world’s most advanced 5G network,” said Neville Ray, President of Technology at T-Mobile.


Also in the news:
A ban in all but name: India gradually ousting Huawei
Argentinian govt issues price freeze on ‘essential’ connectivity, telcos furious
SK Telecom brings quantum cryptography to mobile banking