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Commercial Policy and Charging Control Solutions in NFV Systems

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Cobham Wireless has announced that it will participate in a demonstration at the NFV World Congress to showcase the next evolution phase of an ETSI collaboration by demonstrating the commercial viability of a NFV (Network Functions Virtualization) system for Policy and Charging Control solutions.

Cobham Wireless is working together with the other members of ETSI’s NFV Industry Specification Group (ISG) Proof of Concept ‘Distributed Multi-domain Policy Management and Charging Control in a Virtualised Environment’ (PoC#32 ), who include Redhat[1], Intel®, Amartus, Openet, and Procera. Using TeraVM, a fully virtualized IP test and measurement solution, the working group will demonstrate the reliability and scalability of the Policy and Charging Control system with the behaviour of real subscriber load conditions[2].

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Core to the PoC#32 is the virtualization of operational and business support systems ‑ OSS and BSS ‑ functions such as DPI, policy, charging, and analytics. These are essential to achieving a dynamic network environment that users can keep pace with, and monetize new service innovation. This extends to access control, and broader revenue handling systems.

The PoC team will demonstrate in this latest phase a number of key concepts representing the commercial viability of NFV systems for policy control and charging solutions:

  • Fully Orchestrated Service Life Cycle Management in real-time: To facilitate ease of NFV deployments for commercial operations requires abstraction through runtime programmable service definitions and templates. In this phase, Amartus will show the ability to onboard unique Network Service and VNF Descriptors encapsulating the unique VNF vendors of Cobham Wireless, Openet and Procera. These descriptors are then used by the orchestrator to automate the NFV service instantiation, scaling, modify and termination.
  • Charging: The PoC will show how virtualised BSS components can be included within a NFV architecture to facilitate the monetisation of dynamic services deployment.
  • Operational Viability: The ability to seamlessly upgrade NFV systems is fundamental to all carriers. The core component of the NFV system, the virtual infrastructure manager; Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, has been updated for OpenStack Juno – the most recent version of the upstream OpenStack project, with minimal impact to the VNFs.
  • Infrastructure Scale: Intel enhanced the infrastructure by upgrading the physical connectivity of the compute nodes with Intel® Ethernet 10 GbE converged network adapters, proving the increased bandwidth to support additional subscribers.

“This enables our partners to prove the viability of the NFV system to deliver commercial policy and charging control solutions. It is a true milestone for NFV and the wider ESTI ISG NFV community,” said Mark Lambe, product marketing manager at Cobham Wireless. “Working within the collaboration team has enabled Cobham Wireless to enhance TeraVM to be more NFV compliant. The addition of RESTful interfaces and VNF descriptor to TeraVM has proved invaluable in terms of the ability to continually assess performance at number of delivery gates in this phase.”

“Open scalable platforms  led by Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform  are starting to deliver on the potential of NFV to transform the telecommunications industry, and also to address the challenges that CSPs face on this journey,” said Radhesh Balakrishnan, general manager for OpenStack at Red Hat. “This PoC is an excellent example of how industry leaders can collaborate to bring the business benefits of NFV to the industry, by innovating on open platforms to manage multi-component orchestration with network functions such as OSS/BSS.”

“Collaboration between members of the Intel® Network Builders program, has been key to the development of this PoC,” said Renu Navale, director of the Intel® Network Builders program. “Together we have demonstrated multiple virtual network functions successfully working with OSS/BSS on Intel Architecture-based servers and the Data Plane Development Kit.”

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“Phase I of this PoC proved how complex NFV enabled services can be quickly rolled out using real-time service orchestration,” said Michael Kearns, CEO of Amartus. “This phase focuses on the critical role of standards-based VNF descriptors for the success of multi-vendor NFV services.”

“This PoC demonstrates how operators can realise the full benefits of NFV by enabling the BSS systems responsible for generating revenue in a operators infrastructure, to be as elastic and dynamic as the other virtualised network functions,” said Niall Norton, CEO of Openet.

“As service providers begin to evaluate NFV and its business use, they need confidence that solutions have been verified to perform in real world scenarios”, states Mike Kay, VP of Business Development with Procera Networks. “By incorporating realistic subscriber loads into the test environment we were able to simulate how the entire solution behaves under real world conditions.”

The live NFV OSS/BSS demonstrations will take place each day at SDN WC at a number of locations which include the Amartus, Openet and Procera stands.

An overview of the collaboration use case “Transform your business model with NFV” is available at:


  • Red Hat is a trademark of Red Hat, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Linux® is the registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the U.S. and other countries. The OpenStack mark is either a registered trademark/service mark or trademark/service mark of the OpenStack Foundation, in the United States and other countries, and is used with the OpenStack Foundation’s permission. We are not affiliated with, endorsed or sponsored by the OpenStack Foundation, or the OpenStack community.

Photo by Ministerio TIC Colombia

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