Increase in VoLTE and VoWiFi drives Nokia to tap up Radisys for MRF

Nokia Networks will use Radisys' media conditioning and transcoding technology within its IMS-based voice and video service capability.

Radisys has signed a partnership deal to supply its MRF (Multimedia Resource Function) products to Nokia. Nokia will deploy the MRF as part of its IMS VoLTE platform.

The MRF is an element specified by IMS standards to provide media conditioning and transcoding between services and devices – for example to provide interoperability between narrowband and wideband codecs, or IP-to-IP and IP-to-non-IP communications. Nokia has to date provided that media plane function ( (MRFP) integrated within its Open Mobile Gateway element, with MRFC (control) provided by its Telecommunications Application Server (Open TAS) over the H.248 interface.

Nokia MGW TAS MRF

Grab from a Nokia presentation showing its existing transcoding integration with MGW and TAS.

The move to provide a dedicated MRF (Multimedia Resource Functions) introduces a new element to a VoLTE architecture, but as operators rollout VoLTE and VoWiFi take-up increases with devices such as iPhone 6 they face a requirement for increased media processing for voice and video services controlled and invoked by the IMS. A “standalone” MRF can provide all media conditioning within one element and can also, by freeing up processing capacity in the MGW, extend the lifecycle of a MGW.

“To date, a lot of the media processing requirement within Nokia’s customers has been very voice-centric,” said Ray Adensamer, Director of Marketing, Radisys. “As operators are approaching VoLTE, VoWiFi and video, they need additional capabilities to deliver media processing.”

Nokia has a stated strategy to seek partners for elements it would consider outside its core strength. Although Nokia provides IMS functions such as the Telecommunications Application Server (Open TAS), it has made a decision to provide the media conditioning and transcoding function using Radisys’ MRF.

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The Finnish vendor has signed up for both Radisys’ MPX 12000 hardware-based and software MRF, and has also certified Radisys’ virtual MRF to its telco cloud partner certification programme. That will enable its customers to choose a hardware-based or virtualised deployment, depending on the scale and elasticity of their requirements, Adensamer said. “Some operators are very cautious about NFV in the media plane, others are more aggressive,” he said.

“The Radisys product family extends our end-to-end VoLTE solution,” said Michael Clever, senior vice president of Core at Nokia Networks. “We’re able to quickly provide operators with the right media processing solution for their VoLTE deployment, whether it’s a virtualised solution or not.”

Radisys MRF Nokia VOLTE

Radisys’ view of a common MRF in the service network.

Radisys’ MRF is already integrated by Mavenir for VoLTE deployments, and Genband where the MRF underscores Genband’s UC capabilities. Radisys has also been a supplier of ACTA products to Nokia for many years. Its strategy it to be able to deploy the MRF to support a variety of communications applications, including VoLTE, a strategy of calls One MRF.

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