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What is uCPE?

Introducing uCPE

Universal customer premises equipment (uCPE) consists of software virtual network functions (VNFs) running on a standard operating system hosted on an open commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) server. uCPE is the next evolutionary step in customer premises equipment (CPE). Free from the restraints of proprietary vendor hardware, uCPE delivers a number of key benefits by consolidating many local, physical IT infrastructure functions. uCPE is driving new efficiencies by reducing physical architecture complexity, improving time to service, cutting operational costs, and creating more value for customers. In short, uCPE brings the power of the cloud to the telco network and is a gateway to innovation.

VNFs – the building blocks of uCPE

Through virtualizing physical network functions (PNFs), VNFs transform devices like routers and firewalls into software running on standard hardware, enabling uCPE to consolidate these tasks in one general-purpose box.
uCPE is experiencing explosive growth. A recent study by Technavio reported that uCPE adoption grew 14.52% in 2022 and is projected to reach $1.31 billion USD in annual sales by 2026.


SD-WAN originated as an appliance-based VPN solution, but its growth, spurred by software VNFs on low-cost COTS servers, has led to service providers harnessing uCPE to offer virtualized services.

Adaptable and future-readiness

uCPE ensures adaptability and prepares enterprises for a changing digital landscape. With its open and modular approach, uCPE caters to a multitude of network services, ensuring evolution of the network infrastructure with changing business needs. Be it adding a new software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) function or ramping up firewall capabilities, uCPE allows seamless upgrades, enhancing the longevity and sustainability of IT infrastructure. uCPE also prepares businesses for the transition to emerging technologies such as 5G and edge computing, making it a truly future-proof solution.

Ensemble: complete uCPE solutions

ADVA's innovative open virtualization suite, the Ensemble product family, provides powerful carrier-class orchestration, VNF hosting, management and automation tools, reducing cost and complexity through intuitive, intelligent and automated capabilities.

Additional benefits of uCPE (Show me the money!)

Adopting uCPE significantly reduces capex as the need to purchase or replace proprietary network appliances and hardware is eliminated. The solution also presents substantial opex savings, made possible by the decrease in hardware maintenance, reduction in manpower requirements due to remote management and zero-touch provisioning (ZTP), as well as lowered energy consumption from having fewer devices to power. Moreover, uCPE minimizes hardware and software risk, facilitating a simple transition between suppliers. It propels innovation by utilizing a standard platform that allows for software-driven enhancements. What’s more, by delivering value through virtualized services, uCPE aids in retaining customers and opens upsell opportunities, including the enticing "try before you buy" option.

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