Feature Article

May 23, 2013

Radisys Talks Small Cells, VoLTE and Telecom Cloud at CTIA

Radisys is at CTIA this week talking about small cells, VoLTE and telecom cloud. MobilityTechzone checked in at the show with Manish Singh, chief technology officer, to talk about what’s new and exciting on these fronts.

Relative to small cells, Radisys provides software that enables anybody that wants to build a small cell to do so quickly and efficiently. The company has partnered with silicon suppliers Broadcom, Mindspeed, and Qualcomm on the small cell front. Singh says it’s all about accelerating time to market and lowering costs for small cell creators.

The company has more than 75 customer wins to date for its small cell software. It is now actively working on multiple 3G and LTE rollouts. Radisys is involved in what Singh says is the world’s first LTE small cell rollout with KT and SKTel in South Korea.

Radisys is also a supplier for the first U.S.-based rollout of VoLTE, which is being done by MetroPCS, and with VoLTE deployments in South Korea. Singh says in the U.S. both AT&T and Verizon have announced plans to rollout VoLTE starting in the second half of this year.

The industry has been discussing VoLTE for years. It’s been a lengthy process for several reasons, says Singh. The reasons include the fact that the 3GPP focused initially only on data, so voice got delayed; the complexity of voice, especially in real-time voice over data networks; and the fact that voice ranks high in the services offered by carriers, so the telcos don’t take this service lightly and want to ensure a high quality of service.

But VoLTE will be worth the wait, Singh indicates, because it will benefit both end users and the operators. For consumers, it will enable a new user experience in the form of HD voice, he says. For operators, VoLTE will not create a new revenue source, but rather it will allow for spectral efficiency gains and, most importantly, it will set operators on a long-term trajectory where they can re-farm 3G spectrum that was previously used for voice. That, he says, will enable operators to aggregate bandwidth to deliver even fatter pipes to support new rich communications experiences. But rather than talking about consumer video entertainment, Singh points to RCS including video calling, video ringback tones and leveraging video in interactive voice response systems.

“That is where the new opportunity for the operator starts to emerge,” he said.

Singh then turned the discussion to the telecom cloud, the software-defined network, and network functions virtualization. The network today consists of the data plane, the control plane and the app/service plane. When it comes to the data plane, Singh believes it will be SDN-enabled, but he doesn’t yet see the economies of virtualizing the data plane, which includes such devices as gateways, deep packet inspection appliances and policy enforcement engines.

While the enterprise cloud is flat, the service provider cloud is hierarchical, said Singh, “so assuming everything can be consolidated does not make sense.”

Edited by Alisen Downey

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