SoftBank taps Cisco to optimize mobile IP core network

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Cisco Systems announced that SoftBank has adopted its Network Convergence System 5500 series – providing high-density 100GE routing and segment routing technology for optimizing network operations – for its next-generation mobile IP core network.

According to the recent Cisco Mobile Visual Networking Index Forecast (VNI) 2016-2021, global mobile data traffic will increase sevenfold to 1.4 zettabytes in that timeframe, thanks to the rapid increase of mobile users, smartphones and the IoT, along with the rise in network speeds and the expansion of mobile video consumption. Also, large-scale implementation of 5G infrastructure is forecast to begin around 2020.

Mobile carriers such as SoftBank not only need to respond to the demands of increasing users by obtaining the revolutionary communication speed and low latency, and dynamic provisioning capabilities realized through 5G networks, but also provide new services to mobile home and enterprise markets.

SoftBank had been considering upgrading and expanding its existing equipment housing mobile Internet traffic, to meet demand for mobile traffic capacity forecasted to increase at a rate of 50% per year.

It has upgraded core routers used in its existing network to the Cisco NCS 5500 Series, capable of housing 576 100GE ports. This enables the company to build a next-generation mobile IP core network supporting bandwidth demand for the deployment of new services such as IoT and mobile video.

As the services required by the market become more diverse, network configurations and traffic patterns also become more complex. The reduction of manual work required for opening lines and management of convergence time and network topology has been indicated as one of network measures being taken.

To that end, Cisco says SoftBank has become the first company in Japan to introduce segment routing technology that simplifies and optimizes the mobile IP core network and facilitates automation of network operations.

SoftBank has adopted segment routing TI-LFA capability to reduce fault recovery time while also improving reliability and redundancy. This will enable the provisioning of a more reliable mobile network while delivering a better customer experience to the company’s consumer and corporate users.

“SoftBank keeps focusing on improving service quality and enhancing the reliability and agility of network while reducing costs,” said Keiichi Makizono, senior VP of SoftBank Corp. “Cisco’s advanced network technologies and support have allowed us to establish the next-generation mobile IP core network platform that meets the bandwidth demand.”

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