Quortus moves intelligence to edge of mobile networks to offload core

The company has turned the mobile network core into an application that can run on a regular server

Quortus has launched the EdgeCentrix software, which allows the core of mobile networks to be installed at smaller cell sites, and in the process cut costs by offloading data and voice traffic, the company said on Thursday.

Operators are looking high and low for ways lighten the load on their networks, in order to handle increasing amounts of data traffic. One way to do this is move network features and content to the edge of the network, which is what U.K. company Quortus has chosen to do.

"We treat the core network as an application that can run small cells, routers or servers," said Andy Odgers, managing director of Quortus, who compared the current core of mobile networks with the mainframe.

By allowing most core network functions to be handled at the network edge -- including switching local calls and caching popular content -- operators can make major savings on backhaul, according to Quortus.

Potential markets include corporations, rural areas and remote locations such as islands, according to Quortus. For example in remote locations, operators can offer services where previously it wasn't financially viable to do so, by ensuring that voice and data services are handled locally, it said.

In general, it becomes easier to scale up the mobile network very quickly by adding more edge devices, instead of upgrading a big box in the center, according to Odgers.

EdgeCentrix, however, can also be used at a central location. A new operator that wants to get up and running fast can run the software on Amazon's EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud), Odgers said.

Quortus is in discussions with potential partners involved in small cell deployments and expects to announce agreements in the coming months.

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