Seoul, September 13 – SK Telecom and Nokia recently demonstrated Korea’s first virtualized network technology for fixed access services, a regional milestone that underlines the growing shift to software by operators who want to streamline and automate their network to meet surging data demand and prepare for 5G.

For the demonstration, the companies installed a software-defined optical line terminal (OLT) that supports XGS-PON symmetrical 10-Gbps transmission to provide services such as IPTV and high-speed internet, successfully delivering IPTV real-time broadcasting on SK Broadband’s test bed located in the Dongjakgu district in Seoul.

Using Nokia software-defined networks (SDAN) with open and programmable interfaces based in the cloud, the lab trial showed how SK Telecom could effectively run network components and control functions on a virtualized fixed access platform. The open nature of the platform will accelerate the introduction of innovative services in future such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) or 3D services.

By moving the “brains” of the network to the cloud, and away from hardware, operators can make smarter, faster decisions that bring operational improvements, increase service awareness and improve network performance. Network resources can be used more flexibly by adjusting the bandwidth allocation for different services, taking into consideration changing data traffic requirements. For instance, more resources may be set aside for IPTV services in the evening, when demand typically rises.

”Virtualized access networks are essential for next-generation networks, and we have paved a way to provide innovative and more valuable services to our customers. We will continue to lead the efforts to develop more advanced virtualized networks in close collaboration with Nokia and other partners,” said Park Jin-hyo, Head of Network Technology R&D Center of SK Telecom.

Building on the success of the trial, the two companies will establish and implement a step-by-step virtualization roadmap for wired optical network equipment, including NG-PON2, which increases the capacity by adding multiple wavelengths. The companies also plan to share the results of their work through international forums such as the Broadband Forum.

Nokia SDAN is the first true cloud-native access platform that helps operators get more value from their fixed access network, delivering the widest range of software-defined use cases such as always-on-networking, zero touch provisioning, automation, network slicing, 5G fronthaul and unified management of both SDN and traditional access networks. With over 30 customer trials and demos, Nokia is showing a new way of working where vendors and operators can collaborate in open frameworks and reap the benefits of software-defined networks.