NEC outlines how operators can support more MVNOs on a cost-effective basis, monetize video services and bring coverage to hard-to-reach areas with small cells and microwave backhaul
NEC Corporation (TSE: NEC 6701) will outline how mobile operators can cut costs through virtualization while increasing revenues and margins by supporting a wider range of MVNOs targeting different market segments or high speed mobile video services and extend coverage to hard-to-reach locations to meet consumer and enterprise demand at AfricaCom on 11-13 November in South Africa on stand #P32 in Hall 4.
Shinya Kukita, chief engineer at NEC’s global business unit will give a presentation on “SDN: How can it benefit African operators?” at 12hrs on Wednesday 12 November in the SDN & Network Virtualization conference track. This includes a look at NEC’s virtualized MVNO (vMVNO) gateway. Traditionally, MVNOs don’t have any visibility into, or control of, the traffic their subscribers generate inside the mobile operator’s network or scope for service customisation. By harnessing SDN, operators or regional MVNEs (Mobile Virtual Network Enablers) can support multiple service providers in a far more flexible and cost-effective way than with existing hard wired systems. On the flipside, MVNOs are able for the first time to develop innovative, mobile offers differentiated by price and application access.
Mobile operators or Mobile Virtual Network Enablers are able to provide multiple MVNOs a slice of a virtualized EPC in a cost-effective way. This effectively gives them their own mobile packet gateway, IP address and session management and the ability to handle billing, QoS (Quality of Service) & APN (Access Point Name) controls and authentication to drive growth. Research by Deloitte shows that there are 1,200 MVNOs active globally, 800 of which are in Europe and less than 10 in Africa. Africa still has many customer segments which could be profitably addressed by MVNOs with innovative business models. This could include innovative ad-funded MVNOs that gift minutes and texts to customers, for example in the “youth” segment, in exchange for the right to send advertisements to them, or low cost, no frills service providers.
NEC will also unveil its Traffic Management Solution to ensure video is formatted, transported or delivered in ways that are optimised for mobile networks at AfricaCom. It also provides dynamic, policy-based bandwidth optimisation and data flow control and tuning. This is complemented by a Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) migration path for the solution that will enable operators to prioritise different video traffic streams in the future. This will enable operators to reduce their cost base and offer different classes of video service to boost customer satisfaction levels and margins with basic-to-premium pricing plans.
NEC will also showcase its “New Last Mile” small cell managed services portfolio and macro and small cell solutions. NEC offers “one-stop-shop” solution to help network operators deploy multi-vendor LTE macro and small cell capacity and coverage in a rapid, economical and integrated way. This includes complex 3D urban landscapes and town or rural sites outside operators’ current macro footprint.
Complementing this, NEC’s highly reliable iPASOLINK microwave solutions aggregate and transport traffic from the base stations and transport it wirelessly back to the core or to a fiber aggregation point where possible. Fibre is impractical in heavily forested or mountainous regions or rural areas where negotiating rights of way with multiple parties can be time consuming. There have also been incidences of trenched cables being unearthed during the rainy season. This makes it vital to use wireless transport to extend coverage across challenging landscapes and reduce the risk of unexpected outages in the fiber network.
As a novel departure from traditional fixed-function all-outdoor mobile backhaul radios, NEC’s iPASOLINK iX is fully frequency capable across the range of 6GHz to 42GHz bands and supports up to 9 modulation states. It provides mobile operators with the flexibility to quickly re-architect their wireless backhaul network, redeploying equipment to deliver the increased capacity they need to address changing patterns of mobile application service usage at a local level, while minimising the number of spare parts they hold over the long lifespan of the solution.
Eugene Leroux, Managing Director and President at NEC Africa, commented, “Some 800-plus million people are projected to have mobile broadband subscriptions in Africa in 2018, compared to 105 million in 2013 and 174 million by the end of 2014 according to analyst forecasts. African operators need reliable infrastructure to meet rising consumer and enterprise demand for mobile connectivity today, but also infrastructure to empower them to bring innovative new data products and services to market quickly to make the most of these market opportunities. NEC is looking forward to sharing its existing solutions and future roadmap to achieve these goals at AfricaCom.”