Turkcell said it is delivering new services at least three months faster than it could with its legacy infrastructure

Affirmed Networks is offering some insights into how it helped Turkish mobile network operator Turkcell with the rapid deployment of one of the largest commercial network virtualization projects in the region.

Turkcell’s virtualized network deployment supports more than 35 million mobile broadband subscribers and is “one of the most extensive live, commercial virtualized mobile networks” in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, according to Affirmed. The network carries more than a terabit per second of customer traffic across the region, Affirmed said.

Affirmed was chosen as a vendor for the virtualization of Turkcell’s network a year ago; the company said that it will continue to support day-to-day operations of the virtualized network for the next three to five years.

Turkcell wanted to rapidly embrace virtualization and expected to achieve benefits including cost savings and more agile and rapidly deployable services. Turkcell’s CTO said that some services were virtualized in as little as four months; an Affirmed blog entry from May 2018 said that the vendor was helping Turkcell complete its planned virtualization ahead of schedule, and described Affirmed’s role as “developing a cohesive strategy and onboarding virtual network functions (VNFs) from third parties as well as our own”; creating a single, unified network function virtualization infrastructure architecture or NFVi; and providing a virtualized GiLAN solution for rapid delivery of new services. The company also has provided a data optimization solution for Turkcell, which Affirmed said “represents one of their largest NFV deployments” along with deep packet inspection, carrier-grade network address translation (CGN) and control plane services including voice over LTE, policy and charging rules function (PCRF) and authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA).

Affirmed said that the virtualization effort has enabled Turkcell to “significantly reduce the cost of their network” while improving its time to market, with reductions of at least three months for delivering new services, compared to its legacy network infrastructure.

“We initially selected Affirmed Networks based on their innovation in the area of network transformation and virtualization and their work with some of the world’s largest operators,” Turkcell CTO Gediz Segin said in a statement. “Our decision has been reinforced many times throughout the deployment, as we were continually impressed by the speed in which we were able to move from testing to roll-out; a process that took as little as four months for us to virtualize the critical services required for the success of the project.”

Hassan Ahmed, chairman and CEO of Affirmed Networks, said that “many factors were key to the success of this initiative.” He went on to say that Turkcell “began with a powerful vision and clear objectives for the virtualization of their mobile network,” which Affirmed and Red Hat supported with lessons learned and best practices from other operator network deployments that they have been involved with.

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