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Nokia and China Unicom are conducting a live trial in China Unicom's commercial network using the Nokia Virtualized Services Router (VSR). The trial involves more than 5,000 residential subscribers and allows China Unicom to simplify and accelerate the delivery of residential broadband using a new, agile and flexible network which is based on virtualized network functions (VNFs).

The initial trial is being carried out in the province of Shandong and will expand to the other parts of the country over the next two years as it evolves to the next phase, which will include delivery of IPTV services.

China Unicom is adopting Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) to enhance efficiency, agility, openness and scaling capabilities to evolve to a cloud-ready network. The successful trial of the industry-proven Nokia VSR will increase operational efficiency and enable faster creation and delivery of new services.

The trial uses the Nokia VSR as a next-generation, virtualized Broadband Network Gateway (BNG) for residential subscriber management functions and advanced service capabilities. As part of its initiative to transform its metro service edge, China Unicom plans to migrate massive BNG services to the virtualized platform to leverage the opportunities of the cloud era.

"We are proud to be a part of China Unicom's initiative to evolve its metro edge to a cloud-centric architecture,” said Sri Reddy, head of IP Routing and Packet Core business at Nokia. “The Nokia VSR provides delivery of broad and rich virtualized IP edge applications with superior performance and enhanced scalability. Upon completion of this network transformation project, China Unicom will ensure increased operational efficiency and deliver a superior customer experience for its subscribers."