Chinese vendor Huawei has announced that, in partnership with Vodafone Group, it has conducted a successful field trial of Fixed Access Network Slicing, which it notes is ‘a virtual access network solution which partitions a physical fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network into multiple virtual network slices, creating multi-tenancy virtualisation of the access network’.
With the test reportedly carried out at Vodafone Ireland, with specialist Huawei teams supporting the joint initiative, separate consumer and enterprise virtual network slices were created on a live FTTH network. The consumer slice carried broadband internet and Vodafone TV services, while the enterprise slice carried ‘One Net’ business services, including voice. The virtual access network trial was carried out on Huawei MA5800, a new-generation smart optical line terminal (OLT), with the vendor claiming the results of the test showed the successful operation of MA5800 virtual access network architecture.
Commenting on the technology trial, Matt Beal, Director of Strategy & Architecture, Vodafone Group Technology, said: ‘Virtualisation of the fixed access network will help us build and fill FTTH networks in a more cost-effective way that takes advantage of new operating models where both Vodafone and its deployment partners are able to differentiate their services over the shared fibre infrastructure.’ Jeff Wang, President of Huawei Access Network, added: ‘We are delighted to continue to collaborate with Vodafone on network slicing. The solution can provide independent operation and maintenance management for multi-services bearing, and it can help to improve equipment efficiency, reduce operation and maintenance costs and achieve business success.’