For the tests, China Mobile is also using Cavium’s ARM-based ThunderX COTS hardware.
The Chinese operator is testing vCPE, vEPC, vIMS, and virtual broadband remote access servers (vBRAS). And it’s using the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) for project development.
China Mobile’s work is part of its Telecom Integrated Cloud.
Who is Enea?
Enea is a Swedish software vendor whose customers include Ericsson and Nokia. Recently, it announced its Enea NFV Core software platform, which is the platform that China Mobile is using in its testlab. Enea NFV Core is based on the latest OPNFV release, purpose built for telecom use cases.
Ulf Bragnell, Enea’s product director for NFV solutions, said the company has been involved with OPNFV since 2014. The Enea NFV Core platform includes NFVi and VIM, and it is extended with a software-defined networking (SDN) controller.
NFV Core takes concepts from the data center and employs them for the central office and customer premises. “We saw that for NFV to become a transforming force, it needs to be implemented not just in data centers,” Bragnell said. “Our focus has been on the central office and customer premises. This we define as the edge.”
Bragnell said Enea differentiates itself from other NFV players by focusing on the edge and also because it doesn’t have any hardware. “We’re one of a few independent software vendors in the industry,” he said. “We support both ARM and x86 as well. We are free to take NFV the way it’s supposed to be and take it to the edge of the network.”
Although Enea works with Intel x86 servers, the company also considers itself a competitor with Wind River, which is an Intel company.
Fredrik Medin, Enea’s SVP of marketing and communications, said the company has been around for about 50 years, and it employs about 500 people.
“Ninety percent of Ericsson’s and Nokia’s base stations have Enea software,” said Medin. “They have their own software as well. That has been the core business for many years.”
Recently, the company has been focusing on network virtualization, which puts it in competition with some of its customers. “The nature, now, of the business is: partners, customers and in some areas we compete,” said Medin. “Primarily Ericsson and Nokia are customers, but we provide operating systems, we have networking intelligence and monitoring, and we have solutions for NFV.
In December 2016 Enea purchased the French company Qosmos, whose technology provides traffic visibility for SDN.