Optus has begun trialling cloud-based mobile packet core technology to help address network congestion and mobile service during peak times.

The telco partnered with mobile virtual infrastructure vendor, Connectem and aims to deploy network capacity to address short, intense spikes in network traffic.

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The advantage over a physical packet core is that in a virtualised environment, network resources can be rapidly switched on to deliver incremental capacity where it is needed most. As a result, customers will experience lower network latency during periods of peak network activity.

"As we continue to expand Optus 4G across the country, we are also exploring the opportunities that cloud services can enable," Optus managing director of networks, Gunther Ottendorfer, said in a statement.

"The trial is a world-first, and is one of the ideas that we are fostering as a solution to network congestion during major events. At the same time, we are gaining valuable insight into how the deployment of flexible network infrastructure may fit into our long-term network strategy."

Earlier this year, Connectem and Optus completed a laboratory trial for the virtualisation technology. In a world first, Optus is working with Connectem to pass 4G network traffic through a virtual packet core housed in its Mascot exchange.

Connectem developed packet core virtualisation software designed to run in the cloud. The packet core is the system that routes data traffic moving between mobile devices and the Internet.