Juniper on Monday debuted a new portfolio of products and services designed to help mobile service providers optimize their network delivery and generate new services revenue. Among the major releases is its long-awaited mobile packet core, dubbed MobileNext. Described by Juniper as "the industry's first open mobile core," it's been in development for the past few years as Project Falcon.
Juniper made the announcements in line with Mobile World Congress, taking place this week in Barcelona. With billions of smartphones and machine-to-machine devices expected by 2020, Juniper is among vendors looking to offer a combined portfolio of IP and mobile technologies, from core networking to consumer services, designed to ease the mobile traffic burdens.
Among this debuts are Juniper MobileNext, a mobile packet core with an open, programmable platform, and the true name of Juniper's oft-mentioned Project Falcon. MobileNext offers 2G/3G and Long Term Evolution (LTE) evolved packet core functions using the MobileNext Broadband Gateway, MobileNext Control Gateway and MobileNext Policy Manager.
The Broadband Gateway itself is software implemented on Juniper's MX 3D universal edge routers. The MobileNext Control Gateway, by contrast, is a standalone appliance that manages MobileNext's signaling. The Policy Manager, also software, is what controls policy and charging rules function (PCRF) for LTE. All will be generally available by mid-2011, according to Juniper.
Beyond the MobileNext offering is MobileNext Consumer Services -- providing simultaneous 2G/3G and LTE services -- and a suite called MobileNext Business Services, which combines APN technology with an operator's network via an SSL VPN with Juniper's Junos Pulse platform, allowing secure connectivity by corporate users with mobile devices.
Deeper into the portfolio is Juniper's Service Delivery Gateway software, which also sits on the MX 3Ds. The Service Delivery Gateway combines various IP functions such as carrier-grade network address translation (NAT), video optimization, application load balancing and dynamic subscriber awareness into a single Junos platform -- something Juniper says can save service providers 36 percent total cost of ownership because they don't have to buy point products for each function.
Other debuts this week include an expansion of Juniper's Media Flow Solution with integrated video optimization from Openwave Systems, and added security for Junos Pulse, including anti-virus, anti-spam, malware protection, remote device lock and other functions.
Juniper further debuted a set of Mobile Internet Professional Services, including LTE and IPv6 readiness assessments and mobile video optimization. All will help service providers more easily migrate to LTE, according to Juniper.
Wendy Cartee, vice president of marketing at Juniper, described the product rollouts as helping service providers optimize their networks while also creating greater services revenue.
"This is to help mobile operators monetize the smartphone revolution," Cartee told CRN Monday. "They need to upgrade their infrastructures or provide more bandwidth and performance. But it's also reducing cost, and building a network that is IP-centric, with everything from netbooks to laptops to phones now wireless."
For Juniper's partner ecosystem, there's an increasingly relevant play around software development for mobile infrastructure using Juniper's Junos platform and its various pieces.
MobileNext, for example, incorporates Juniper's Junos SDK to enable operators to develop applications and also work with third-party developers -- who can develop on Junos via the Junos Space piece -- to add services, Cartee explained.
"Imagine you're a mobile operator and you have a pipeline full of innovation that will potentially never run out," she said. "What we've seen in the smartphone era is applications that can be downloaded on the fly. And mobile operators are very cost sensitive -- they need to drive down costs in the network, and performance and scale are very important to them."
Cartee emphasized security services, but also carrier-grade NAT, parental controls and financial transactions, such as e-banking, as examples of the types of services a flexible platform will better enable.
"A fully programmable platform drives a business model," she said.