[SEOUL, KOREA] SK Telecom (NYSE: SKM) announced on July 12 that it commercialized T-MANO, an NFV MANO (Network Functions Virtualization Management and Orchestration) platform that performs integrated management and orchestration of virtualized network equipment and software.
T-MANO has been optimized to SK Telecom’s network environment based on the specifications set by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) Industry Specification Group (ISG NFV).
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 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 company 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.
Moreover, SK Telecom expects T-MANO to help expand telecommunications infrastructure ecosystem by opening up the Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) of T-MANO so that anyone can use it to build virtualized network equipment or software.
The company will first apply T-MANO to its virtualized VoLTE (HD Voice) routers and then expand its application to virtualized LTE Evolved Packet Core (EPC) and additional equipment including MMS Server. According to SK Telecom, in 2017, virtualized EPC will take up around 80 percent of newly deployed EPC. And from 2019 the company will only deploy virtualized EPC.
Meanwhile, SK Telecom has been leading the field of NFV technologies by commercializing an international standard-based NFV system orchestrator (named T OVEN) in 2015, and applying NFV technologies to its base station equipment in September 2016. The company is also taking an active part in global standardization efforts: Early this year, its two core technologies of T-MANO have been reflected in ETSI’s standards.
“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 Vice President and Head of 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.”
NFV MANO (network functions virtualization management and orchestration), also called MANO, is an architectural framework for managing and orchestrating virtualized network functions (VNFs) and other software components. The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) Industry Specification Group (ISG NFV) 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).