Operators of TETRA networks are asking how to cut costs while maintaining the same level of service. Could virtualization and data centres be the answer?
Virtualization of servers is an important trend in the mainstream telecom business. In practice, the first reason to opt for these techniques is to save on operational expenditure (OPEX). Reducing the number of switching sites also reduces site rentals, electricity bills, and transmission fees. These can account to major OPEX savings, which is good news because OPEX typically accounts for a major share of the total cost of a network over its lifetime.
OPEX tends to grow in proportion to the number of elements in the network. Many TETRA operators are interested in cutting OPEX by using commercial off the shelf (COTS) equipment to perform the same functions as the big TETRA switches. Yet, could this be done in the TETRA infrastructure for mission critical users, maintaining the same availability, security and control?
The answer is, yes.
Switching goes virtual
Modern software and powerful server hardware have made it possible to adopt huge and complex switching features in COTS servers. Airbus has implemented TETRA switching and features in such equipment and virtualized DXT switches are already on the market.
Further development will integrate other solutions. Examples include Tactilon subscriber management, CDD (Configuration and Data Distribution Server) and other common applications such as positioning.
What’s more, virtualization has been achieved without compromising high availability and reliability. These virtual solutions will have a unique capability to deliver telecom grade level service availability.
For existing systems, it can be a worthwhile investment to change the hardware and at the same time upgrade to the latest software release. As TETRA software releases always include valuable new features, operations can be made even more efficient and cheaper, while also improving availability, security and control.
Virtualization offers many benefits. With functions based on software, automated deployment, backup and restore are possible, as well as the ability to scale up services and install on them quickly on demand. Time to market is reduced and there is improved visibility, monitoring and fault management.
The virtual TETRA in the form of Taira Virtual Core shows the road to the future by combining the latest technology with all the requested mission critical requirements for features, availability, security and control. For upgrades and extensions of existing networks, this is a great opportunity to get new equipment based on latest COTS servers, saving OPEX, while for new networks, all these advantages are there from the start.
Why not take action now and get in touch with your contact at Airbus to discuss the opportunities for your existing or coming TETRA network? You can also use this form to contact Airbus.
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Hans-Martin Zimmermann from Airbus explains what makes Taira Virtual Core a unique solution for mission-critical communications.