Upstart networking software maker Mavenir claims to be the industry’s only end-to-end Network Software Provider and a leader in accelerating software network transformation for communications service providers (CSPs). The company today has expanded and cloudified its portfolio by announcing four new solutions: WebScale Platform, AI & Analytics, Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) and Digital Enablement Platform, all available now.
With cloud-native applications [1.] and technology innovation in the software space for mobile communications, consistent with Mavenir’s DNA, these solutions support the ongoing cloudification of the mobile networks, to enable CSPs to meet the growing data demands on their networks.
Note 1. Cloud native is an approach to building and running applications that exploits the advantages of the cloud computing delivery model. The software is built upon independent microservices and can run on a container platform, like Kubernetes.
The term has become a new IT industry buzzword, but it is a totally unproven entity for telecom service providers, especially for 5G core network/ stand alone (SA) functions.
According to Ericsson, some of the key benefits of cloud native are:
- Faster TTM (time to market) with increased flexibility and more frequent SW drops
- Support for continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD) of new software.
- Improved life cycle management (LCM).
- Improved support and flexibility for distribution of network functions.
- Substantial improvements of total cost of ownership.
The new 3GPP specification (not a standard!) for 5G Core (5GC) is introducing a service based architecture (SBA), which is designed for cloud native deployment. This will be the new platform for new 3GPP capabilities going forward and very limited efforts will be spent on the old evolved packet core (EPC) going forward.
Mavenir’s cloud centric approach means moving applications to Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) computing servers and embracing a complete ecosystem with applications in the Cloud (private, hybrid or public), which complement the basic Network Virtualized Functions (NVFs) and bring automation to improve the way operators manage and operate their networks. In addition, this approach creates more flexibility and agility enabling the introduction of new services not only in the traditional consumer business, but also in the enterprise arena.
Mavenir’s Webscale Platform, which is based on Kubernetes, extends the enterprise IT and webscale platform-as-a-service (PaaS) with telco-specific functions that are open interface and based on open source. The service was developed in conjunction with the Cloud Native Computing Foundation and LF Networking, a Linux Foundation group, which is working on webscale technologies through its XGVela project that targets upper layer services as PaaS functions and is designed to enable more cloud deployments among network operators.
Suresh Somasundaram, SVP of 5G Cloud Platforms at Mavenir explains, “Mobile networks require digital transformation towards webscale platform technology that utilizes open source, Kubernetes platform as a service (PaaS). While a Kubernetes-based platform (PaaS) provides the foundation for fully automated life cycle management, it is built for mainly IT and enterprise applications and requires additional and specialized functions to support telecom and specifically, mobile workloads. To support those types of workloads, Mavenir has developed a common software extending standard opensource PaaS components to support telco needs for webscale deployment and to provide agile delivery of new applications expanding to Performance, Monitoring, Legal Intercept and Security. Mavenir’s WebScale Platform is the solution to give Mobile Operators the webscale agility of the Internet players.”
Kuntal Chowdhury, GM, AI & Analytics at Mavenir said, “With the cloudification and automation of the telecom networks, it becomes essential to utilize AI & Analytics solutions in a scalable platform combining real-time and big data analytics based on advanced Machine Learning algorithms. Mavenir’s AI & Analytics platform delivers extensive insights that are mandatory for WebScale network automation, slice management, security and many other use cases defined for the MEC (EdgeAI), RAN intelligence, traffic optimization and security . The AI/ML algorithms are defined with Mavenir’s deep telecom domain expertise, while keeping the interfaces standards-compliant & the platform open for collaborative innovation.”
Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC):
Mavenir is introducing a platform that will enable edge computing within an operator network which it plans to make available later this year. Mavenir is also working with Nvidia and Mellanox (owned by Nvidia) to allow packet core functionality to be deployed at the edge of the network, and integrating its software development kit with other vendors to benefit specific edge applications in industrial automation, augmented or virtual reality, video surveillance, and autonomous driving.
Ashok Khuntia, GM Cloud Packet Computing says, “Delivering low latency and high bandwidth at the edge of the network promises many exciting applications in 5G. Mavenir’s optimized low-footprint data processing 5G Core platform enables mission critical MEC applications in the areas of Industrial automation, Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality, Gaming, Video surveillance, Autonomous driving and others. The additional focus on Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) will accelerate such applications for many different industries and sectors.”
Sandeep Singh, GM, Digital Enablement at Mavenir noted, “Mavenir enables Operators and Enterprises to launch innovative value-based services faster to market with lower upfront investments in capital and time. Mavenir’s Digital Enablement Platform unlocks any network data, sources partner data, and serves up a value-added offering enriched through the platform’s flexible business control functions like Partner/Customer Management, Order Journey-Experience builder, Subscription/Usage Billing, Charging and Settlement. With the design focus on ‘adaptability’, the platform provides customers the agility and flexibility to experiment iteratively and deliver enhanced subscriber engagement experiences, ultimately benefitting in increased market reach and customer stickiness through new revenue generating services.”
“With a modern and secure Webscale platform as a foundation for edge computing, state of the art AI-based Analytics and Customer engagement solutions in our portfolio, Mavenir is a partner of choice for Telcos looking to offer new mission critical network edge solutions, transform network operations and business models for new 5G networks. In addition, Enterprises who need cost efficiency and customization in their connectivity and communication solutions will benefit,” said Bejoy Pankajakshan, Mavenir’s Chief Strategy Officer. “With a worldwide installed base and decades of experience in designing ‘Multi-G’ Telco services, Mavenir now offers its customer a path to realize the true potential of 5G through these new technology solutions.”