SK Telecom has announced the commercial launch T-MANO, an NFV MANO (Network Functions Virtualization Management and Orchestration) platform that performs integrated management and orchestration of virtualized network equipment and software.
NFV MANO is an architectural framework for managing and orchestrating virtualized network functions (VNFs) and other software components. The ETSI NFV Industry Specification Group (ISG) defined the MANO architecture to facilitate the deployment and connection of services as they are decoupled from dedicated physical devices and moved to virtual machines (VMs).
T-MANO has been optimized to SK Telecom’s network environment based on the specifications set by ETSI.
Prior to the development of T-MANO, the company had to develop, build and operate a separate NFV management platform for each different network equipment provider, due to the fact that their NFV equipment were built on different specifications depending on the manufacturer.
Through T-MANO, SK Telecom says it can more efficiently utilize its virtualized network equipment by managing service quality and data traffic in an integrated manner regardless of equipment manufacturer, while improving the overall service quality by responding flexibly to service failures/errors.
The operator says it can also significantly reduce the time required to set up new equipment to provide a new service, as it can upgrade the whole system at once, as opposed to the past where it had to upgrade each and every system separately.
Meanwhile, SK Telecom says it is opening up the T-MANO APIs so anyone can use it to build virtualized network equipment or software.
SK Telecom will first apply T-MANO to its virtualized VoLTE (HD Voice) routers, then expand its application to virtualized LTE Evolved Packet Core (EPC) and additional equipment including MMS Server.
SK Telecom notes that around 80% of newly deployed EPCs this year will be virtualized. Starting in 2019, the company will only deploy virtualized EPCs.
“With the commercialization of T-MANO, SK Telecom secures the basis for accelerating the application of NFV technologies to provide better services for customers,” said Choi Seung-won, senior VP and head of SK Telecm’s Infrastructure Strategy Office. “We will continue to develop NFV technologies and accumulate operational knowhow for virtualized networks to thoroughly prepare for the upcoming era of 5G.”