Among all the “Next Big Things” in the technology industry, 5G is beyond question going to take the digital transformation to new levels. In fact, as a catalyzer of many industries and applications, this wireless network technology has already boosted the explosion of new-connected IoT (Internet of Things) devices, while unstoppingly evolving into larger segments of possible spectrum. 

How will 5G be deployed by various service providers with different technologies in the years to come? No one can foresee it; still, it is certain that the parallel emergence of virtualization trends (e.g., SDN, NFV, Distributed Cloud, and Network Slicing) is going to be a big game-changer for 5G. By leveraging virtualization and holders on open hardware platforms, 5G networks decouple the virtual network functions from proprietary hardware components. That is to say, the “container” where network functions used to reside on or are confined to—a dedicated hardware device like a router—is now replaced by another form. This new form, so-called Universal customer premises equipment (uCPE), is a software-defined platform that incorporates multiple network functions (VNFs) such as firewalls, making it possible for the VNFs to be delivered virtually and collectively.

uCPE Benefits

In an  SD-WAN/SD-branch infrastructure, uCPE realizes network virtualization by connecting the branch offices to the central administration. The following are aspects that organizations can benefit from the use of uCPE:

  • Cost-effective System Deployment

Software patches and updates can be accomplished within clicks remotely over the network. Deploying new branches becomes effortless and cost-saving.

  • Enhanced Security

As software patches and upgrades can now be executed timely or automatically by schedule, the up-to-date security features with better protection against new threats can ensure the stability of the system.

  • Simplified Device Management

The system administrators located in the central office can monitor in real-time the network traffic flow through the Whitebox and the use of computing resources. In addition, in case of any incident, they can respond instantly through the management software interface.

How CPE Lost Its Ground to Whitebox uCPE

Considering these benefits, the system operators would definitely want to optimize their site deployment using the uCPE solution. On the other hand, the conventional customer-premises equipment (CPE) is no longer adequate for new requirements. These boxes are typically inflexible because they are hardwired for lock-in vendor profiles, meaning the deficiency in interoperability with other vendor products. Moreover, since a single box can only carry out a particular network function, it would require a large number of devices to fulfil the entire site’s network needs, which is costly.

Whitebox, or commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware, has come as an alternative to provider-owned hardware devices supporting only fixed network functions. This is achieved by carrying a uCPE on it. What’s more, a Whitebox is designed to integrate various services into one device. For this purpose, its hardware capability is capable of supplying sufficient compute power required to run multiple VNFs.

Whitebox uCPE Benefits

Transitioning from proprietary boxes to Whitebox uCPEs benefits your IT infrastructure in three ways. First, without the need to purchase purpose-dedicated devices and the resource-consuming process of provisioning new equipment, both new capital expenditures and management costs are dramatically reduced. Second, through central management over the network, it enables the enterprise to quickly roll out services, updates, configurations and respond to issues. Last but not least, the capability of consolidating diverse software-based functions onto fewer hardware devices expands the range of choices available to customers, bringing unprecedented possibilities of innovation.

Introducing Lanner L-1515

Lanner’s desktop Whitebox uCPE, L-1515, is optimized for optimized SD-WAN applications enabled by the uCPE for industry-specific market segments, and can function as entry to high-level network computing hardware platforms.  Featuring Intel® Atom® C3000, it delivers high compute power, support for multiple NFV services and high Internet throughput. Also, equipped with enhanced 4G/LTE/Wifi connectivity, it provides more options demanded by businesses of all sizes. The L-1515 guarantees flexible connectivity, computing power, and security features to carry out network virtualization that comes along with 5G. For more product information, visit