Virtualization and cloud services have transformed enterprise systems and enabled many businesses to cut cost and make their processes more efficient. Now, mobile operators want to reap the same benefits from what is being called NFV or network functions virtualization.

Nokia Corp. and South Korean wireless operator SK Telecom Co. Ltd. recently demonstrated the potential of virtualized mobile networks.

The two companies’ joint proof-of-concept project focused on virtualizing Evolved Packet Core (EPC) and they were able to control capacity for throughput and signaling traffic based on smart phone usage, Nokia said in a statement.

NFV aims to help operators move away from expensive and proprietary equipment that telecoms currently use and help them transition to more flexible cloud-based architectures that allow the use of commodity hardware.

Analysts say this is not likely to happen overnight. But that has not stopped other telecom operators to investigating the benefits of NFV.

The online technology publication, reports that some 13 operators including Verizon, China mobile and Deutsche Telecom are working together to write a while paper on NFV.

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