The two companies will deploy the vEPC on 4G LTE networks in 11 countries in Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, México, Colombia, Peru, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala; and two countries in Europe: Germany and Spain.
Huawei’s vEPC, which is named CloudEPC, will integrate with Telefónica’s legacy networks. But the virtual technology will permit new use cases that include Internet of Things (IoT), mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), and mobile edge computing (MEC).
The companies have been jointly testing CloudEPC’s performance in Telefónica’s network functions virtualization (NFV) lab in Madrid. They say the testing has shown excellent performance in both data and signaling planes. They’re now testing the onboarding of the CloudEPC on Telefónica’s Unica cloud platform.
“This large-scale vEPC network deployment is a further step within the Telefónica Unica virtualization program,” said Javier Gavilán, planning and technology director at Telefónica, Global CTO, in a statement.
Huawei has been the main EPC provider to Telefónica, and the vendor will now evolve to become its vEPC provider.
The Spain-based service provider is using many of the big telecom vendors for its Unica Project, which it first announced in 2014.
It’s using Ericsson’s Hyperscale Datacenter System (HDS) 8000, as well as its Cloud Manager, Cloud SDN, and OpenStack-based Cloud Execution Environment.
Telefónica is also testing Nokia’s virtualized Provider Edge router (vPE).
And it’s working with another big Chinese vendor — ZTE — to jointly build a large-scale vIMS network in Latin America. With ZTE it’s working in Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Ecuador, and Uruguay. The vIMS network will provide Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and VoWiFi services for Telefónica customers.