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The Rise of Virtual EPC: A Mobile Packet Core Forecast & Analysis

出版商 Heavy Reading 商品編碼 298822
出版日期 內容資訊 英文 54 Pages
商品交期: 最快1-2個工作天內
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虛擬EPC的崛起:行動封包核心網路預測及分析 The Rise of Virtual EPC: A Mobile Packet Core Forecast & Analysis
出版日期: 2014年03月31日 內容資訊: 英文 54 Pages


第1章 簡介、主要調查結果

第2章 市場規模與預測

  • 市場規模與預測
  • EPC的軟體銷售模式
  • 市場預測:各技術類型
  • 廠商市場佔有率
  • 供應商的市場進步的摘要
  • 同類中翹楚的EPC vs.RAN的整合
  • 市場結構:虛擬化適合哪裡?

第3章 NFV & 行動核心

  • NFV的優點
  • 平台vs.應用主導的NFV
  • 虛擬EPC的優點
  • 行動核心虛擬化候補的特定
  • 雲端改寫應用的必要性
  • NFV基礎設施及資料平面性能
  • VNF在哪裡存在?

第4章 虛擬EPC的利用案例 & 引進模式

  • 並進虛擬化EPC
  • 活動主導的可擴展性
  • SGi-LAN 服務的變化
  • 軟體配置工作流程

第5章 虛擬EPC的供應商計劃

  • Affirmed Networks Inc.
  • Alcatel-Lucent
  • Cisco Systems Inc.
  • Connectem Inc
  • Ericsson AB
  • Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.
  • Mavenir Systems Inc.
  • NEC(日本電氣)
  • Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN)
  • Samsung Group
  • ZTE Corp.





The Evolved Packet Core (EPC) is the 3GPP-specified core network for Long Term Evolution (LTE) access. Over time, it will also become a common core network for packet-switched services in 2G and 3G networks, and potentially for Wi-Fi access. The EPC is central to the mobile network architecture and critical to the delivery of end-user services. It sits between the radio access network (RAN), the IP network, external services and a number of other network elements used to authenticate, secure and deliver services to end users. It is a strategic point of control in the delivery of mobile data services, as shown in the excerpt below.

Excerpt 1: EPC at the Heart of Mobile Broadband

Source: Heavy Reading

The EPC performs essential functions including subscriber tracking, mobility management and session management. By virtue of its role in managing users' connectivity to services, the EPC can also play an important role in network monetization, especially when used in conjunction with policy and other traffic management techniques. This aspect of the mobile packet core moves it from being a cost center to an enabler of higher-revenue, higher-margin services. Over time, monetization and flexibility will become important factors in the virtualization of EPC functions, for example as relates to "service chaining."

In 2013, the concept of network functions virtualization (NFV) gained credence. Leading network operators endorsed the idea of separating application logic from the underlying - typically proprietary - hardware platforms used to run telecom applications in favor of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware deployed as a cloud infrastructure. EPC is one of the key network domains that have been identified by operators and vendors as a good candidate for NFV. For example, it is identified as a viable and attractive use case in the ETSI Working Group specification documents. A number of vendors showed proof-of-concept demo systems at the 2013 Mobile World Congress, and throughout the year a number of operators trialed early versions of the technology. By the 2014 Mobile World Congress, half a dozen suppliers had announced their intent to offer commercial virtual EPC software.

Heavy Reading has also identified strong interest in virtual mobile core among operators through a range of custom research projects and operator engagements carried out in the past 18 months. There are a number of reasons why EPC is considered a good candidate for virtualization. Commercially, it is a new and expanding investment that still has a long life ahead of it, so aligning network investment with future technology trends is logical. Technically, the nature of EPC and the relatively modest traffic volumes in mobile networks make it suitable for virtualization, although this depends somewhat on the specific application and deployment model.

‘The Rise of Virtual EPC: A Mobile Packet Core Forecast & Analysis’ examines virtual EPC from the perspective of the operators that will deploy the technology and the vendors that design the products (software and systems). It identifies the biggest opportunities and challenges in this market transition, and explores how to best address these. To provide context to the industry's virtualization efforts, the report also discusses the broader mobile packet core market and analyzes today's commercially available products and vendor roadmaps to software-only EPC products.

All of the technology vendors are now on board with the concept of virtual EPC, and large vendors - as well as a number of challengers - now have plans to offer commercial product. In detail, however, there are significant differences between suppliers, both in approach and in timing. This report examines 11 leading EPC technology vendors*, detailing their virtual EPC strategy, technology and timeline.

Many mobile core functions have been identified as good candidates for virtualization, and it is not unrealistic to think that an entire mobile core could be fully virtualized and operate at close to parity in performance and feature terms with traditional core network within three years. Feature parity could be achieved in a shorter time frame, and a "good enough" feature set even sooner. The excerpt below identifies three categories of mobile core functions: The packet gateway (a bearer-plane function) in red; control-plane nodes (MME, Policy, IMS, etc.) in yellow; and Gi-LAN functions circled in blue.

Excerpt 2: Categories of Mobile Packet Core Functions

Source: Heavy Reading

Report Scope & Structure

‘The Rise of Virtual EPC: A Mobile Packet Core Forecast & Analysis’ is structured as follows:

Section I is an introduction to the report, with complete report key findings.

Section II reviews trends in the mobile packet core equipment market, vendor market share and other key market events.

Section III discusses how NFV applies to the mobile core and to EPC specifically.

Section IV investigates use cases and deployment models for virtual EPC.

Section V analyzes vendor plans for virtual EPC products.

‘The Rise of Virtual EPC: A Mobile Packet Core Forecast & Analysis’ is published in PDF format.


  • Affirmed Networks Inc.
  • Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU)
  • Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)
  • Connectem Inc.
  • Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERICY)
  • Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.
  • Mavenir Systems Inc.
  • NEC Corp. (TSE: 6701)
  • Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN), a subsidiary of Nokia Corp.
  • Samsung Group (Seoul: 5930)
  • ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763)

Table of Contents*



  • 1.1. Key Findings
  • 1.2. Report Scope & Structure


  • 2.1. Market Size & Forecast
  • 2.2. A Software Sales Model for EPC
  • 2.3. Market Forecast by Technology Type
  • 2.4. Vendor Market Shares
  • 2.5. Summary of Vendor Market Progress
  • 2.6. Best-in-Class EPC vs. Integrated With RAN
  • 2.7. Market Structure: Where Does Virtualization Fit?


  • 3.1. Advantages of NFV
  • 3.2. Platform- vs. Application-Driven NFV
  • 3.3. Advantages of Virtual EPC
  • 3.4. Identify Mobile Core Virtualization Candidates
  • 3.5. Need to Rewrite Applications for the Cloud
  • 3.6. NFV Infrastructure & Data Plane Performance
  • 3.7. Where Should VNFs Reside?


  • 4.1. Parallel Virtualized EPC
  • 4.2. Event-Driven Scalability
  • 4.3. SGi-LAN Service Chaining
  • 4.4. Software-Configured Workflow


  • 5.1. Affirmed Networks Inc.
  • 5.2. Alcatel-Lucent
  • 5.3. Cisco Systems Inc.
  • 5.4. Connectem Inc
  • 5.5. Ericsson AB
  • 5.6. Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.
  • 5.7. Mavenir Systems Inc.
  • 5.8. NEC Corp.
  • 5.9. Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN)
  • 5.10. Samsung Group
  • 5.11. ZTE Corp.





  • Figure 1.1: EPC at the Heart of Mobile Broadband


  • Figure 2.1: Mobile Packet Core Equipment Forecast
  • Figure 2.2: Mobile Packet Core Revenues by Technology
  • Figure 2.3: Mobile Packet Core Market Share by Revenue (2013 = $3 Billion)
  • Figure 2.4: Mobile Packet Core Market Evolution


  • Figure 3.1: From Appliance to Virtualized Function
  • Figure 3.2: Platform- vs. Application-Driven NFV
  • Figure 3.3: Categories of Mobile Packet Core Functions
  • Figure 3.4: Telecom Software Designed for the Cloud vs. Hardware Appliances
  • Figure 3.5: Replacing ASICs & NPUs With Multicore CPUs
  • Figure 3.6: NFV Hypervisor Bypass
  • Figure 3.7: NFV Hypervisor Domain
  • Figure 3.8: Stages of NFV & SDN Over Time


  • Figure 4.1: Virtual EPC for Industry Verticals
  • Figure 4.2: Mobile Core Network Scale-Out Using NFV
  • Figure 4.3: Reallocation of Capacity to IMS
  • Figure 4.4: Hard-Wired SGi-LAN
  • Figure 4.5: Service Changing on the SGi Using Virtualized Appliances
  • Figure 4.6: Software-Configured Workflows


  • Figure 5.1: Affirmed Services Open Workflow
  • Figure 5.2: Components of Alcatel-Lucent's Virtual EPC Offer
  • Figure 5.3: Cisco's Evolved Services Platform
  • Figure 5.4: Cisco's SGi-LAN Service Chaining
  • Figure 5.5: A Modular Service Architecture for Mobile Core
  • Figure 5.6: Migration to NFV & SDN
  • Figure 5.7: Ericsson's View on SGI Service Chaining
  • Figure 5.8: Huawei's View on NFV Cloud
  • Figure 5.9: Huawei's View on Virtual EPC for Telemetry Services
  • Figure 5.10: Mavenir's Virtual Mobile Core
  • Figure 5.11: NEC's Virtual EPC Architecture
  • Figure 5.12: NSN's Virtual EPC Trial With SK Telecom
  • Figure 5.13: SGi-LAN Service Chaining
  • Figure 5.14: Virtual EPC + SDN + SGi

* All charts and figures in this report are original to Heavy Reading.

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