Verizon Unfurls Session Border Controller Service


By: Michael Vizard

Verizon Enterprise Solutions is continuing its campaign to deliver network services on demand by adding a Session Border Controller as a Service (SBCaaS) offering based on network function virtualization (NFV) software developed by Ribbon Communications.

SBCs are virtualized switching systems that coordinate and enable a variety of voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) services, leveraging the Internet for enterprise communications. Deployed on a software-defined network the carrier built on top of instances of OpenStack, the new Verizon SBC service in the cloud targets helping IT organizations flexibly provision voice calls and unified communications, says Rakendu Devdhar, product manager for Verizon Virtual Network Services.

While Verizon has previously rolled out other NFV services based on its SDN, this is the first service targeting communications and collaboration, says Devdhar.

SBaaS is a managed service provided by Verizon where the session border controller service is hosted in the cloud by Verizon. Later this year Verizon will add an on-premise option based on the Verizon universal CPE (uCPE) platform as well as support for hybrid network deployments. In addition, Devdhar says Verizon will be offering various option through which session border controller services will be bundled with other Verizon services such as routing.

“We want to give to customer options in the way they consume network services,” says Devdhar.

Devdhar says the ability to flexibly deliver network services hosted on the cloud or on-premises environment will be a major factor that enterprise IT organizations will consider when selecting a carrier. Most enterprise IT organizations will require access to hybrid networking services to support a wide variety of use cases, says Devdhar.

Verizon is locked in race with arch-rival AT&T and others to deliver next generation SDN/NFV services that can be dynamically provisioned. Both carriers have made major investments in open source software to deliver as many of those services as possible on industry-standard x86 hardware; thereby eliminating the need to acquire and manually provision proprietary appliances. While AT&T and Verizon are much farther along than most of other carriers when it comes to modernizing network services, rival carriers are closing the gap by acquiring SDN/NFV platforms based on proprietary software.

Whatever the ultimate outcome of that race in terms of any shifts in market share, the one thing that is for certain 2018 will witness a proliferation of new services driven by SDN and NFV technologies .