Cellwize brings virtualization to SON

Self-optimizing networks start-up launches elastic-SON, which supports NFV and cloud-based management

By Caroline Gabriel

Two of the key components of the emerging mobile network will be SON (self-optimizing network) and virtualization. Singapore-based start-up Cellwize is bringing the two together, claiming to have the first SON solution enabled with the carrier virtualization technology, NFV.

Without SON, it will be impractical to build the dense, heterogeneous networks that operators envisage for the coming years, but the technology is in its infancy, and a wave of innovation is going on to match it to carriers' real world requirements, especially for small cells.

Cellwize said operators are primarily asking for multi-technology, multivendor support, and the virtualization of network functions to improve flexibility and costs. It took its first step to NFV support by virtualizing its SON and application servers, delivering optimization via virtual machines.

The resulting solution is called elastic-SON and aims to tempt mobile carriers with a 'pay-as-you-grow' approach. The SON system can be tailored to the size and requirements of the individual network, and if more capacity is required, cloud managers can increase the number of virtual machines with a few clicks.

CEO Ofir Zemer said: "NFV has been a key development for 2014 and it makes sense for centralized-SON to be in the cloud. As operators move their networks into a virtualized environment, it is vital that the RAN section can be managed by a robust virtual SON solution."

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