uCPE is the ultimate CPE

Forget the old battles about whether NFV and uCPE are as good for customer premises equipment (CPE) applications as dedicated network appliances. They’re better.
Prayson Pate
Hands holding the sun

uCPE is the key to service delivery today 

In the early days of NFV, we fought religious battles over a variety of topics. Such as where virtualized functions should be hosted. About what the architecture should look like. Whether virtualized applications could meet the performance and operational requirements of managed services. And what the real economics were. Those battles are over, and ultimate CPE (aka universal CPE) is the clear winner. 

Where should functions be hosted? Wherever the application requirements dictate – just like with appliances. Sometimes that means in a large-scale centralized cloud. But in many cases, applications require using ultimate CPE located at the customer premises or telco edge. 

What should the ultimate CPE architecture look like? The cloud! That means an open operating system hosting virtual machines or containerized functions, all under the control of standard applications like OpenStack.

Can virtualized applications on ultimate CPE meet the performance requirements of managed services? Absolutely! See more on this topic in our recent report that describes our recent testing at EANTC.

Can virtualized applications on ultimate CPE be cost-effective? Yes, and in more ways than one. The material cost is lower, inventory requirements are reduced, time to service is faster, and a software approach enables the benefits of try-before-you-buy and upsell.

What about end user satisfaction for services on ultimate CPE? End user satisfaction is higher with virtualized services on ultimate CPE!  With dedicated network appliances, responding to customers’ change requests takes days or weeks. And it requires on-site visits. Not so with services delivered on ultimate CPE. Operators can respond immediately to issues or change requests, resulting in fewer ticket escalations and higher customer satisfaction. All of that is good for today’s applications. But what about the future and new applications? That’s where ultimate CPE shines.

At Adtran, we embrace openness and choice.
Edge cloud drives the innovation of tomorrow

So how do we leverage ultimate CPE for innovation? It begins with a proper implementation.

I mentioned above that the architecture for uCPE should be based on the cloud. If we build it correctly, we will have a micro-cloud running at the network edge – an edge cloud. And that opens up a whole new array of applications.

We should embrace openness and choice. At Adtran, we can work with a mix of today’s VM-based applications and support a graceful migration to tomorrow’s containerized implementations. And we support a wide range of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) servers and third-party virtual network functions.

Next, we can leverage cloud-native tools to create scalable and resilient micro clouds, like our Ensemble Cloudlet.

Finally, we can harness best-of-breed cloud management tools to install, activate, monitor and operate edge clouds. And we can do so with standard telco operational procedures.

Once we have all that, it becomes straightforward to support innovation. Maybe that means running end user applications in a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environment. Or it could mean supporting 5G applications. Perhaps it’s providing infrastructure for smart cities and manufacturing. Whatever the case, ultimate CPE provides the engine for edge innovation.

But there’s more. You may have heard that the best app is the one you haven’t yet thought of. The point is that we want to create a platform that lowers the bar for innovation and unleashes the creative power of end users. That’s the ultimate benefit of ultimate CPE.

Embrace the ultimate CPE!

Edge applications running on edge clouds built on ultimate CPE can do everything that today’s appliance can. And they do it better and cheaper. But that’s just the start. The real power of ultimate CPE is powering tomorrow’s innovation – without constantly changing the CPE. Let us show you how you can benefit from ultimate CPE.

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