NEC continues to be a leader in the OpenFlow innovation movement. This week in Tokyo our colleagues in Japan at NEC Corporation are demonstrating another first: OpenFlow for Android, at iExpo in Tokyo on November 11 and 12.
Atsushi Iwata, NEC’s Senior Manager for System Platforms Research Labs, presented our findings at the Stanford Clean Slate CTO Summit this week. Just a side note: for those of you unfamiliar with Clean Slate, this is the interdisciplinary research program out of Stanford that has set the ambitious mission of “reinventing the Internet”. A number of initiatives and innovations have come from Clean Slate, not the least of which is OpenFlow 1.0. NEC, Deutsche Telekom and Stanford were the original charter members of Clean Slate, so as you can see we have been working with OpenFlow now for almost four years.
As detailed in an NEC news release recently, the Communication Control Technologies for networks and mobile devices being demoed at iExpo 2011 are designed to help reduce transmission overload for mobile carriers and customers. Today communication carriers use data offload to deal with increases in cellular network traffic, automatically switching wireless connections from cellular networks to other high-speed wireless networks, like wireless LAN, when they are available.
The problem with this scenario is that wireless LAN connections are frequently lost due to limited coverage (those of you in major US cities surely know about this), and security is weaker than cellular networks.
NEC’s OpenFlow controller can control mobile device communication and select the most appropriate network, for higher quality, more flexible communication services. The technology also leverages the advantages of different networks simultaneously; for example, the high-speed networking of wireless LAN can be offered at the same time as the connectivity and security of cellular networks. This OpenFlow demonstration will control mobile device communications and switch functionality for Android.
Business policy and application needs can drive mobile communications and network switching for a more responsive, agile network and improved communications quality. And Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO), who provide mobile phone services using the infrastructure of other carriers, can select connections from multiple mobile networks with NEC’s OpenFlow controller on the network side, further enhancing their service offering.
One of the big questions coming out of this month’s OpenFlow Symposium in San Jose was around OpenFlow use cases… providing control for networks and mobile devices to reduce transmission overload surely will stir some interest.