Delivering Seamless Subscriber Aware Services over Heterogeneous Access Networks using a SDN and NFV Framework (2015)

By Nagesh Nandiraju Ph.D., Yiu Lee and Jorge Salinger, Comcast Cable

The cable industry is seeing two major shifts: adoption of new access technologies that are capable of delivering higher data rates and a growing interest towards new advanced services that go beyond traditional service flows. Access network technology is undergoing an evolution. Next generation DOCSIS (DOCSIS 3.1) and Passive Optical Networks (e.g. 10G EPON) enable MSOs to deliver higher data rates to subscribers. On the other hand, Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN) have certainly excited the industry and many innovative network architectures and applications are being proposed using these concepts. MSOs are researching to develop and offer more advanced and seamless subscriber-aware services to users that go beyond the DOCSIS service flows. These services will be abstracted from access network and end-toend network technology has to be agile and capable to deliver these services.

In this paper, we aim to establish a SDN and NFV framework that enables delivering a uniform set of new services across multiple access networks. We will start by elaborating on what are the new services and key drivers for these services, how operators would offer and manage them. Then we will dive into the changes required in the network that will enable MSOs to quickly deploy new services to subscribers. As a part of this effort, we will present our thoughts on what functions can be virtualized in the access network that will improve the agility of the network.

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