February 19, 2016

DOCOMO Develops First NFV Technology for Multi-vendor EPC Software
—Commercial service on DOCOMO's mobile network to start this March—

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TOKYO, JAPAN, February 19, 2016 --- NTT DOCOMO, INC. announced today that it has completed development of the world's first network function virtualization (NFV) technology that can run Evolved Packet Core (EPC) software from multiple vendors to enhance connectivity in high-volume areas. DOCOMO plans to deploy the technology on its network starting this March.

NFV technology enables communication software originally designed for dedicated hardware to run on virtualized hardware. It will help to ensure stable network operation by improving connectivity when data volume is high, as well as following natural disasters or in the event of hardware failures. It is expected to accelerate delivery of new services and enhance the efficiency of infrastructure investment by enabling software from multiple vendors and hardware to be combined openly in a mobile network.

"Multi-vendor NFV technology, once regarded as pie in the sky, will now be deployed commercially on our mobile network," said Seizo Onoe, DOCOMO's Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. "Many NFV technologies already deployed still rely on single vendor, so we expect this truly multi-vendor NFV technology will be a long-awaited game-changer in the mobile industry's ecosystem."

The new technology complies with specifications set by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute's Industry Specifications Group for NFV.

DOCOMO also plans to deploy software-defined networking (SDN) technology to make IP network flexible in accordance with the introduction of NFV. It enables to maximize above-mentioned advantages of NFV.

Going forward, DOCOMO expects to virtualize many other key components of its mobile network, aiming at eventually establishing a fully virtualized network.


NTT DOCOMO provides innovative, convenient and secure mobile services that enable smarter living for each customer. The company serves over 70 million mobile customers in Japan via advanced wireless networks, including a nationwide LTE network and one of the world's most progressive LTE-Advanced networks. DOCOMO is a leading developer of a 5G network that it plans to deploy by 2020, as well as network function virtualization (NFV), NFC infrastructure and services, emerging IoT solutions, and more. Outside Japan, the company is providing technical and operational expertise to seven mobile operators and other partner companies, and is contributing to the global standardization of all-new mobile technologies. DOCOMO is listed on stock exchanges in Tokyo (9437) and New York (DCM). Please visit https://www.docomo.ne.jp/english/.

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