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Affirmed Networks, a company specializing in virtualized mobile networks, announced that du, part of Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), has selected its Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) Narrow Band IoT (NB-IoT) mobile core to provide an industry-leading 3GPP core network for IoT use cases, enabling a wide range of smart city use cases.

Affirmed Networks' NB-IoT solution is deployed on du's fully virtualized native cloud open-stack environment as one of the first in the Middle East. du will also be using Affirmed's Virtualized Mobile Core, which includes a virtualized WiFi Gateway, to deliver VoWiFi and Fixed Wireless services.

This state of the art deployment is 5G-ready with network slicing capability to support du's vision of a fully virtualized and software defined native cloud core network. The announcement was made to coincide with Mobile World Congress 2018, being held during 26 February and 1 March this year.

Network Function Virtualization (NFV) is the foundation for achieving efficient carrier-grade solutions. A software-based platform running on standard multi-core hardware, NFV plays an important role in achieving high availability, flexibility and service agility. It represents a key technology allowing telecom operators to move towards 5G with core and edge cloud computing and network slicing, and offers an agile, fast and more efficient model that best serves the operators' subscribers.

Saleem AlBlooshi, Chief Infrastructure Officer, Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du), said: "We are excited to partner with Affirmed Networks, a leader in native virtualized core network solutions."

He continued: "Adopting Affirmed Networks NB-IoT core will ensure we have state-of-the-art 5G ready core network with slicing to serve enterprise as well as consumer use cases. Also, the cooperation in 5G and IoT development is essential to realize UAE leaders' vision to build the smartest city and to be on top of the technological evolution."

"As one of the innovative operators in the Middle East, du has realized how a virtualized network can dramatically improve both their network economics and service agility," said Mohammed Shanableh, Affirmed Networks' Vice President, Global Operations.

"By embracing new technologies such as NB-IoT, VoWiFi and Fixed LTE, they are now able to add new revenue generating services, while at the same time achieving better network utilization and improving customer quality of experience. We look forward to continue our work with du as they transform their network toward 5G."

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