Vodafone: ‘This trial more than justifies our faith in the value, practicality of broadband convergence’
Yesterday, Metaswitch announced that its Access Gateway Function (AGF) solution has been successfully tested by Vodafone in the industry’s first implementation of the 5G Wireless Wireline Convergence (WWC) Access Gateway Function standard at the operator’s labs in the U.K..
The AGF in Metaswitch’s 5G Fusion Core solution is aligned with Broadband Forum and 3GPP specifications, and the partners said that this proves the viability of a path for converged broadband access to the 5G core, simplifying broadband service delivery and creating new options for converged services.
The trial system, which was deployed remotely in the labs, took advantage of the automation capabilities of Kubernetes and Helm, and has, according to the companies, successfully demonstrated the attachment of standard fixed network residential gateways (FN-RG) to the 5G packet core, with mapping between wireline broadband and 5G authentication, authorization and session establishment procedures performed in the AGF.
Gavin Young, head of fixed access centre of excellence at Vodafone Group commented in a press release that the operator has been an active supporter of wireless/wireline convergence activity in the Broadband Forum.
“We are proud to be hosting the world’s first operator test of this technology,” he added. “Working with Metaswitch, we have been able to prove that the technology works in practice, and we have been very impressed both by the performance of the AGF in Metaswitch’s 5G Fusion Core solution and its cloud native architecture.”
Part of its 5G Fusion Core solution, the Metaswitch AGF is a true cloud native solution in which all functional elements, including the User Plane Function (UPF) and Access Gateway Function (AGF), are deployed in containers and orchestrated by Kubernetes to ensure strong performance and network deployment flexibility for service providers.
5G Wireless Wireline Convergence offers a path to a fully converged broadband access network that serves both wireline and mobile subscribers from a single technology stack, facilitating the use of common credentials, authentication and a unified approach to applying network policy.
“WWC is emerging as one of the most critical use cases for the Metaswitch 5G packet core and is an area in which we are poised to provide unique value to the global carrier industry,” said Martin Taylor, Metaswitch CTO. “This industry-first evaluation test builds on a great deal of interest from converged network operators and is clearly demonstrating Fusion Core’s ability to deliver extraordinary levels of performance and efficiency from both AGF and UPF to make it cost effective.”
“This trial more than justifies our faith in the value and the practicality of broadband convergence,” Young stated.
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