Telefonica’s O2 taps Mavenir for vIMS

O2, the Telefónica -owned UK mobile operator, has chosen Mavenir’s for virtualized IMS within its network functions virtualization (NFV) OpenStack cloud infrastructure.  

O2 is deploying Mavenir’s solution for Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and voice over WiFi (VoWiFi) in its nationwide data center infrastructure, which Mavenir said will enable automation immediately, and support existing digital voice services. The vIMS will support mobile services for more than 8 million customers and also help the operator launch new services.

RELATED: UK’s O2 taps non-traditional vendors for O-RAN project

Mavenir said automation, life cycle management and orchestration capabilities from Telefónica’s UNICA platform will be present in the NVF environment.

Telefónica had previously said its ambitious UNICA initiative is focused on obtaining maximum benefits from NFV, software-defined networking (SDN) and cloud technologies, and involved moving from propriety silos to an open, unified architecture.

Part of its three-phase approach to implementing UNICA involves virtualizing the IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) and evolved packet core (EPC).

U.S.-based Mavenir said that as a software-focused company it aligns with Telefónica’s NFV strategy, and can offer flexibility to help reduce the total cost of ownership. Mavenir said its vIMS platform enables telco services to shift toward IP convergence and virtualization.

“Telefónica’s UNICA NFV initiative will leverage the benefits of cloud-native software applications and enhanced automation paving the way to future Next Generation architecture,” said Jorge Ribeiro, Head of Core and IT Infrastructure at Telefónica UK, in a statement. “It is an important step for our Core transformation, and we are looking forward to going through this journey with Mavenir, a partner chosen for their advanced technology and innovation in NFV.”

While Mavenir has been making moves to gain traction as a radio access vendor providing software-based Open RAN products, it’s already established on the IMS core side. Globally, Mavenir has a 28% market share in virtualized IMS.

RELATED: Mavenir sees Huawei ban as O-RAN opportunity

“Mavenir is totally committed to providing excellent performances and operations based on the company’s extensive and unique experience in IMS solutions,” said Stefano Cantarelli, Chief Marketing Officer of Mavenir, in a news release. “We will continue to provide greater flexibility, greater efficiencies, and more agility in terms of innovation as a full end-to-end 4G LTE and 5G, IoT network provider.”

O2 last month announced Open RAN initiatives with a number of vendors, including Mavenir. For Mavenir, that work with O2 is focused on deployments in highly trafficked areas in London to enhance coverage and capacity in locations like stadiums and shopping centers.

Separately, this week Mavenir announced it’s collaborating with Japan’s NEC Corporation to deliver a 5G virtualized open RAN (vRAN) product for the country’s enterprise market.

The work is geared toward private 5G networks for local authorities and enterprise customers, with the aim of establishing a simple and cost-efficient ecosystem, according to the companies.

The collaboration will combine NEC’s IT, network and system integration know-how with Mavenir’s cloud-native network technology.

“Mavenir’s vRAN and NEC’s radio naturally come together to quickly and easily bring new and innovative solutions to the Japanese Enterprise Market,” said Mavenir CEO Pardeep Kohli in a statement.

NEC and Mavenir were supposed to introduce an overview of their collaboration at this year’s MWC in Barcelona later this month, but GSMA cancelled the show on Wednesday following an exodus of exhibitors over concerns from the global coronavirus outbreak.