Australian mobile carrier Optus, the local Singtel outpost, is trying to find a solution to the problem of mobile performance dips when crowds – think sporting events and New Years’ eve fireworks – clog the networks. The carrier is working with year-old Santa Clara outfit Connectem, which describes its technology as “software …
The backend kit isn't enough?
That's pretty unforgivable, given how little of a telco's infrastructure goes on actually processing traffic.
I assumed it was the lack of spectrum with everyone calling at once which caused the problems.
It makes sense. I assume the extra blades would also be handling, for example, other corporate business data which would have very low demand outside normal office hours e.g. during NYE and the grand final.
It's not just Optus
There is now a general trend for various radio comms manufacturing companies to virtualise for power consumption, cabinet real estate, capacity and possible "cloudy" extensions in the future.
Traditionally a major node in such radio infrastructure consists of one processor box (of varying no of U heights) per function. And there are many functions. This results in a major node consisting of several 19" cabinets, consuming lots of power and space.
I have seen some nodes out there being testing where every function is virtualised and the whole lot now fits into half a cabinet's worth of processor boxes. This means, amongst other things, that a major node could be plonked just about anywhere, possibly using just ambient cooling. One could contemplate having many more of them because, in time, they will become significantly cheaper both in hardware and space rental cost.
Optus may be the first mobile carrier to break cover, but you can bet that all the other majors are in there testing right now.