Zhejiang Mobile: Build an open NFV multi-service Telco Cloud Platform to help China Mobile Group Realize Digital Service Strategy

On March 23, 2017, China Mobile Group NFV phase 2 field trial project summary conference was held in Hangzhou in Zhejiang province, China. Zhejiang Mobile completed four key verification testing targets: NFV-based services, Telco Cloud architecture, integration service capabilities and operation/maintenance system evolution. Furthermore, Zhejiang Mobile has built a multi-vendor, multi-stack NFV-based Telco Cloud platform that supports the co-deployment of multiple VNF (Virtual Network Functions), and it is the first branch of China Mobile Group to realize unified VNF management by a single MANO.

As the world's largest mobile communications operators, China Mobile launched its NovoNet2020 vision as early as July 2015 that leverages on NFV, SDN and other new technologies to build a new generation of networks to meet the needs of the development of China Mobile's digital services evolution.

In April 2016, China Mobile completed its phase 1 NFV pilot field trial of deploying virtual CSCF (IP Multimedia Subsystem Call Session Control Function) in four of its branches to acquire experiences in practical VNF deployment, operations and network management aspects. In May 2016, China Mobile launched its phase 2 NFV field trial with to achieve end to end NFV functional validation, Telco Cloud construction, operation and maintenance system evolution. Zhejiang Mobile, underpinned by its own forward-looking approach to new technologies combined with excellent service capabilities and innovative genes, undertook the China Mobile Group NFV evolution research and verification tasks.

Zhejiang Mobile and Huawei Technologies engaged in strong partnership and in-depth cooperation to execute the NFV project and implement an open multi-service NFV Telco Cloud platform. The Telco Cloud platform enables multiple VNF co-existent and deployment to deliver various services provided by a single and/or multiple vendors. As of April 2017, the Telco Cloud platform is able to deliver 5 services including Cloud VoLTE, Cloud VAS (1 SIM 2 Numbers), Cloud Ring Back Tone (RBT), Cloud Short Messaging Service (SMS) and NB-IoT for Smart Parking services.

For the multi-service scenario provided by the same vendor, Zhejiang Mobile built an unified NFV Infrastructure (NFVI) which comprises of hardware provided by Huawei, Lenovo, H3C and Cloud OS (FusionSphere) provided by Huawei. Huawei also provided VNFs for Cloud IMS, Cloud SMG, NB-Cloud EPC to enable VoLTE, short messaging and smart parking services. Through this deployment, Zhejiang Mobile achieves service parity and consistent service experience with traditional services, supports multi-service co-deployment on an unified Telco Cloud and enables rapid service launches.

For multiple services scenarios provided by different vendors, Huawei engaged in deep collaboration with WITSKY (VAS) and DB (virtual MRFP - virtual Multimedia Resource Function Processor) for multi-vendor integration & interoperability. In the solution validation testing phase, Huawei assumes the technical lead to organize experts, on-site delivery personnel and 3rd party experts to conduct on-site interface research and rapid verification of MANO interface specifications. In the project, Huawei deployed VNFs for VAS and RBT provided by 3rd party vendors to realize multi-vendor VNF management by a single MANO.

The integration of NFV networks involves the solution and technical convergence of IT and CT domains and a profound understanding of ICT is critical to the success of the NFV project. Huawei continues to build multi-vendor design, integration & operation capabilities that enables rapid deployment of new NFV-based services. Zhejiang Mobile NFV project includes 8 equipment vendors, 9 major solution areas and 10 technical interfaces giving rise to very complex integration scenarios. As such the role of an experienced NFV prime system integrator (PSI) is a critical factor to ensure successful project execution and delivery. As PSI, Huawei took 5 weeks for 3rd party VAS and only 2 weeks for 3rd party BRT service launches.

In the development of NFV industry, Huawei strongly believes that a robust and collaborative NFV ecosystem is absolutely necessary to realize NFV potential. Huawei has established Cloud Open Labs to enable multi-vendor cooperation with customers and partners that includes 20+ leading operators, industry organizations and open source community from ETSI, OpenStack, ONAP to OPNFV. Based on Cloud Open Labs Huawei continues to innovate by developing multi-vendor, multi-service verification & integration capabilities to ensure smooth, efficient and effective Telco Cloud transformations for our CSP customers.