NEC announced the completion of the first phase of a pre-commercial trial for virtual Customer Premises Equipment (vCPE) for residential users in the network of Telefonica's Brazilian affiliate VIVO. This trial which NEC claims as the world's first vCPE commercial trial was conducted with existing customers and deployed in the carrier's own commercial network. The Virtual CPE architecture focuses on home simplification achieved by shifting functions to the carrier's network.
According to NEC, the trial is done for better diagnostics and more effective troubleshooting, thereby delivering operational benefits. It is also done to evaluate operation efficiency and flexibility, in addition to accelerating its time-to-market.
In October 2013, Telefonica and NEC were the first to virtualize consumers' broadband gateways. These simplified gateways provide basic connectivity, acting as an access point, switch and modem. All other functionalities, such as IP routing (IPv4 and IPv6), Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol and Network Address Translation are provided remotely from the network, running as virtualised network functions (VNFs) on commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) servers.
Following the completion of this trial, both companies aim to start commercial implementation of vCPE in Brazil, with additional deployment within the Telefonica Group to follow.