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February 28

What Is Network Virtualization?

Here’s a term you’re going to hear a lot, both coming out of this year’s Mobile World Congress, and as more networks announce their plans to roll out 5G networks: Network Virtualization

Yesterday, we talked about how many of the technologies that will get us to 5G can also be done on 4G LTE, thus creating a sort of “precursor 5G.” One of these technologies is virtualization.

Virtualization takes several forms, including software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV). While consumers will likely miss the effects of virtualization entirely, many network operators see it as a natural and essential step in paving the way for 5G.

In simplified terms, network virtualization is a way to allow existing physical network equipment like towers and base stations to support multiple virtual networks. This is great for carriers because it allows operators to devote virtual networks for specific purposes. By creating virtual networks, operators can use their existing infrastructure to tailor their services for specific markets.

There’s also a cost savings involved for the operators. Network virtualization allows the network structure to be more flexible, meaning that operators can more easily shift and adjust resources like processing power and electricity consumption to meet the actual needs of the network.

Why is this important to end users? If it saves operators money or creates new opportunities for them, there’s a strong incentive for it to be adopted. Fortunately, Zinwave’s UNItivity DAS solution is capable of supporting all carrier frequencies, and can be reconfigured through simple software updates. UNItivity users can rest assured that any changes to network infrastructure from the provisioning of virtual networks won’t force costly changes or upgrades to the system.

That’s it for Day 3 of Mobile World Congress! Stay tuned to these pages tomorrow as we bring you more news and views from the fourth and final day of MWC.



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