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First-Ever in North America: Neutral Testing Lab for Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) to be Launched

iphoneThe Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), the leading association representing the manufacturers and suppliers of high-tech communications networks, announced it will launch a lab for interoperability testing of network functions virtualization (NFV) technology.

Expected to launch in early 2016, the TIA NFV Lab will be North America’s first vendor-neutral test bed for NFV technology. The TIA NFV Lab will fill an increasingly vital need of service providers: ensuring that software and applications running on the network are able to perform as designed and work seamlessly together with other software and applications.

In an era of smartphones and video streaming, demand for data has skyrocketed and will continue to increase with the expansion of the Internet of Things and 5G wireless technologies. To ensure adequate network capacity, providers are moving away from specialized network hardware to NFV and software defined networking (SDN) technologies, which utilize flexible cloud-based solutions. These virtual services, which operate on a scalable and adaptable network, demand testing that ensures they work in real-world environments and are interoperable with a variety of other services.

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“NFV is a game changer for the global communications industry and is rapidly driving innovative new services for consumers and businesses,” said TIA CEO Scott Belcher. “But in order to realize its full potential, companies must have access to sophisticated, neutral testing platforms. With the launch of the TIA lab, we are committed to giving solution providers, vendors and developers a place to test compatibility between multiple platforms.”

“The data revolution has created a need for extremely flexible and predictive network architecture that can only be achieved through virtualization,” said TIA CTO Franklin Flint. “The TIA NFV Lab will be the only lab of its kind to test true cross-platform, industry-wide, ecosystem agnostic equipment, software and solutions. It will serve as a neutral venue for technology companies to prove the compatibility and scalability of NFV solutions.”

The TIA NFV Lab will engage all segments of the communications industry, including original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), solutions developers, integrators, researchers, customers and the end users who benefit from the deployment of these exciting new technologies.

“As communications service providers (CSPs) undertake modernization initiatives to deliver solutions to customers in new ways, the opportunity for NFV to help transform telecommunications is increasing,” said Darrell Jordan-Smith, Vice President, Worldwide Service Provider Sales, Red Hat. Red Hat is excited to collaborate with TIA on the NFV Lab, helping to drive the development of solutions seeking to meet CSP interest in NFV. Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, which is emerging as a leading platform for NFV, will serve as the underlying NFV infrastructure (NFVi), offering a scalable and open platform for solutions development.” 

The TIA NFV Lab will serve as a venue to drive industry harmonization and broad compatibility of NFV solutions. The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) NFV Industry Specification Group (ISG) has led the development of and established an initial framework for industry specification for NFV. The TIA NFV Lab will now leverage ETSI’s framework into a live lab environment.

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