Etisalat Selects NEC / Netcracker

Etisalat Selects NEC and Netcracker as Prime Integrator for its NFV Infrastructure Platform to Advance its Telecom Cloud Program.

NEC Corporation and Netcracker Technology announced that Etisalat has selected NEC/Netcracker as the prime solution provider for its multivendor telecom cloud program. NEC/Netcracker will provide systems integration services, operational tools, NFV orchestration and full automation in a DevOps mode to “cloudify” its network. As the prime integrator, NEC/Netcracker will also provide third-party hardware, VIM, SDN control and network equipment to create a full end-to-end cloud platform. Etisalat’s companywide program, called the Sahaab initiative, will leverage NEC/Netcracker’s NFVI solution to make its network more agile, responsive, scalable and efficient, enabling the deployment of advanced digital services.

Etisalat is the Middle East’s leading communications provider, offering services to more than 160 million customers. Etisalat’s Sahaab program will help it improve operational performance, reduce time-to-market for digital services and enable greater network elasticity.

NEC/Netcracker’s open, standards-compliant solution will introduce new levels of automation for Etisalat, enabling the speed and agility required for optimizing virtual network function (VNF) performance. NEC/Netcracker’s NFV Orchestration solution, which can seamlessly scale to manage dynamic network services and virtual resources, will ensure that Etisalat’s cloud-based network can support new digital services such as 5G, IoT and smart cities.

“As enterprises and residential customers embrace practices and lifestyles that use real-time digital services, our network needs to be able to handle the dynamic nature of those offerings,” said Esmaeel Alhammadi, Senior Vice President for Network Development at Etisalat. “NEC/Netcracker’s NFVI solution empowers our network with the elasticity and responsiveness we need to deliver next-generation digital services to our customers.”

“We are honored to have been selected by Etisalat as the prime overall integrator for this second-generation SDN/NFV cloud,” said Shigeru Okuya, Senior Vice President at NEC. “NEC will leverage its global experience to support these new cutting-edge cloud-based digital services.”

“The evolution of and increased demand for digital technologies has pressured service providers to transform their networks into more software-defined, cloud-based environments,” said Aloke Tusnial, CTO of SDN/NFV at Netcracker. “We are glad to help Etisalat make its important transition to a cloud platform, which will introduce more agility and automation in delivering innovative digital services.”

Nokia / Nuage selected by China Mobile

Nokia selected by China Mobile to build advanced public/private cloud services infrastructure using Nuage Networks VSP.

Nokia’s Nuage Networks has been chosen by China Mobile (Suzhou) Software Technical Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of China Mobile, as the SDN platform for China Mobile’s public and private enterprise cloud services offering. The platform is based on the Nuage Networks VSP and includes cloud implementations on virtual machines, Kubernetes (K8S) containers and OpenStack Ironic-based bare metal servers.

In order to address the growing appetite for cloud services among its enterprise customers, China Mobile Communications Company (CMCC) is expanding its software-defined networking (SDN) support for new private/public cloud services. In the past two years, Nokia Shanghai Bell, Nokia’s joint venture in China, helped deploy the Nuage Networks VSP solution to deliver China Mobile’s public and private cloud services in 10 data centers, the largest deployment containing over 1,000 servers. Nokia Shanghai Bell ranked No.1 and won 55% share in this project. This project cemented Nokia Shanghai Bell’s status as the leading SDN vendor powering CMCC existing cloud services.

The new services, enabled by the Nuage Networks VSP, allows CMCC to expand its offer to include new public, private and hybrid cloud services such as hosting workloads on either Kubernetes (K8S) containers or on bare metal servers.

An important aspect of the Nuage Networks VSP is the inherent flexibility of the platform. Along with OpenStack, the platform supports multiple cloud management systems, hypervisor and workload types. A centralized policy manager and SDN controller automate the configuration, management and optimization of virtual networks, including security services that provide tenant isolation and access controls to individual applications and workloads. The Nuage Networks VSP combines policy based automation, large scale and high performance with multi-tenancy, resiliency and comprehensive end-to-end security.

Sunil Khandekar, CEO for Nokia’s Nuage Networks, said: “Having a strong relationship with CMCC based on the work we’ve already done with them, we were especially pleased to be chosen to continue with this important project. The Nuage Networks solution allows CMCC to offer some very dynamic, high performing and attractive cloud services for their customers.”

DANOS a Unified Network Operating System

The Linux Foundation Hosts ‘DANOS’ Project, a Unified Network Operating System.

The Linux Foundation announced the Disaggregated Network Operating System (DANOS) project to enable community collaboration across network hardware, forwarding and operating system layers. DANOS is initially based on AT&T’s “dNOS” software framework of an open, cost-effective and flexible alternative to traditional networking operating systems. As part of The Linux Foundation, it will incorporate contributions from complementary open source communities to build a standardized distributed Network Operating System (NOS).

NOS creation has historically been challenging due to the complexity and magnitude of software and hardware requirements — as each device in the network needs its own operating system. However, the growth of open source combined with advances in both software and hardware, has fostered an ecosystem of advanced networking applications, new and open technologies, and building blocks on which to host an open and flexible NOS.

“We are pleased to welcome DANOS to The Linux Foundation community of open, collaborative innovation,” said Arpit Joshipura, General Manager of Networking, The Linux Foundation. “DANOS will provide an open NOS framework that leverages existing open source resources and complementary platforms such as switches and white box routers. We invite others in the broader ecosystem to join the effort to accelerate innovation and creation of an industry-standard disaggregated NOS.”

“As far as we know, DANOS is an industry first: an open-source, carrier-grade operating system for wide area networks,” said John Medamana, Vice President, Packet Optical Network, AT&T. “DANOS is a milestone for us and the industry, and we’re excited to see how developers and other users implement and build upon it.”

Supporting Quotes:

  • “The FRRouting team welcomes DANOS to the Linux Foundation,” said J.R. Rivers, CTO of Cumulus Networks. “With 3,413 commits from 68 authors and 42 organizations in the last year, the team continues to build the most full-featured, high-performance open routing stack available.”
  • “On behalf of OpenSwitch I’d like to welcome DANOS to open source NOS and Disaggregated Networking,” said Alley Hasan, Board Chair, OpenSwitch, and Director, Strategy Networking Dell. “We look forward to the collaboration with DANOS on leveraging the work OPX has accomplished in order to drive more value for operators and to accelerate the adoption of composable networks.”
  • “ONF has been a champion of disaggregation, white boxes and open source and in this regard, we are happy to see DANOS launched as a carrier-grade, open source network OS for white boxes,” said Guru Parulkar, Executive Director, ONF. “We are looking forward to DANOS and ONF’s recent open source platform Stratum, thin switch OS, working together.”
  • “SDKLT is a revolutionary, feature-rich open source Software Development Kit, which enables a new approach to switch configuration,” said Eli Karpilovski, Director of Marketing, Switch Products at Broadcom. “Broadcom is thrilled to showcase how this mature switch SDK can advance Linux Foundation projects such as DANOS.”
  • “We’re excited to see the Switch Abstraction Interface (SAI) as the hardware abstraction layer for DANOS, which will enable DANOS to work across the wide set of switches and switch ASICs that implement SAI,” said Dave Maltz, Distinguished Engineer, Microsoft Corp.

Partner Quotes:

  • “Inocybe welcomes the DANOS project to the open networking community that we have been focused on expanding,” said Mathieu Lemay, CEO of Inocybe and OpenSwitch Board Member. “The DANOS project will help grow the network operating system community that will incorporate existing work we have accomplished in the OpenSwitch community and others like it. This collaboration will help drive innovation at the foundation of the network stack, and will drive acceleration of the adoption of open source networking software and white box switches.”
  • “Juniper Networks has a longstanding commitment to the open source ecosystem through OpenContrail and is hyper-focused on disaggregation efforts to provide faster innovation for our customers,” said Bikash Koley, CTO and Executive Vice President at Juniper Networks. “We firmly believe that the way products are created and brought to market is rapidly changing and that openness and disaggregation will bring far greater economic and innovative strides to organizations. This is why Juniper intends to continue delivering on our promise of open and scalable networking options jointly through our work with the open community. We look forward to the community innovations that come out of the DANOS project under the Linux Foundation.”
  • “Metaswitch is a committed supporter of the Linux Foundation’s DANOS project and AT&T’s dNOS software framework,” said Shriraj Gaglani, EVP of Business Development at Metaswitch. “Our carrier-grade routing and control plane protocols install and operate as binary applications on top of these open network operating systems to enable true software disaggregation. Together, this will increase reliability and flexibility for white box switching solutions while lowering capital and operating expenditures.”
  • “Orange is pleased to take part in the definition of a single open Network Operating System, which will provide an opportunity to foster an ecosystem benefiting operators, vendors and customers,” said Christian Gacon, Vice President, Wireline Networks and Infrastructure of Orange Labs Networks. “We are convinced this initiative will allow operators to accelerate the development of new and relevant services for customers and to prepare the future of the network.”
  • “Silicom is pleased and excited to take part in this important initiative, open designs and  integration of disaggregated deployments are a part of our strategy,” said Elad Blatt, Chief Strategy and Business Development Officer at Silicom. “DANOS enables our Edge networking devices to be truly open and programmable.”

Code and collateral transitions are underway as the community begins to coalesce around the DANOS framework. A first code release is expected the second half of 2018. In the interim, more information about DANOS is available here. Details about AT&T’s initial dNOS framework are available via white paper: “Towards an Open, Disaggregated Network Operating System.”

Amdocs and Microsoft enable ONAP on Azure

Amdocs collaborates with Microsoft to enable ONAP on Microsoft Azure.

Amdocs announced its implementation of Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. This new development enables operators to deliver virtual network services running on Azure, orchestrated and managed using ONAP. Amdocs and Microsoft will show how operators can gain the time-to-market and cost benefits of public clouds with a demonstration of ONAP running on Azure this week at the Linux Foundation’s Open Network Summit in Los Angeles.

Amdocs is working with Microsoft to make the ONAP code available to the open source community in May 2018. Network operators will then be able to offer network services running on Azure as the primary cloud or as complementary capacity for their private cloud to deploy virtual network functions that are managed and orchestrated by ONAP.

“This project is a first step in the evolution of ONAP to manage a multi-cloud environment where network capacity can be consumed in a dynamic way across a combination of private and public clouds,” said Anthony Goonetilleke, Group President of Amdocs Technology. “It is a proof point showing the industry momentum behind ONAP while reducing the upfront investment to embark on a network virtualization strategy. It is also further evidence of Amdocs and Microsoft’s commitment to continue innovating and promoting open source networking solutions to accelerate the adoption of NFV.”

Yousef Khalidi, Corporate Vice President for Azure Networking, Microsoft Corp. said, “Today’s next-generation operators are challenged by the complexity and cost of developing their existing network infrastructures and require new cloud services to enable faster network virtualization. To address these issues, Amdocs and Microsoft are using ONAP to control network services on Microsoft Azure – an integrated solution that helps network operators deliver advanced virtual network functionality, while simply and reliably automating operations and reducing costs using open source technology and cloud based-services.”

Digital Transformation World, the new name for TM Forum Live!

It’s only recently dawned on me that TM Forum Live! has a new website and a new name. It’s now called Digital Transformation World.

Time has flown. It’s already less than two months until the event (14-16 May 2018 in Nice, France). Catalyst day is on the 17th. Registrations can already be made… at this link: https://dtw.tmforum.org/registration/.

Check out the list of speakers. There are some really interesting topics awaiting to be discussed. I’ve already reached out to a couple of the speakers for a quick chat about their topic/s.

Fortumo partners with Apigate in Cambodia

Fortumo partners with Apigate to launch content services in Cambodia.

Fortumo and Apigate, a subsidiary of Axiata Digital, announced their latest collaboration to launch content services in Cambodia via Smart Axiata’s Direct Carrier Billing API. This collaboration will enable Smart’s subscribers to make payments in app stores for digital content and games by conveniently charging the payments to their mobile phone bill.

Almost half of Cambodians own a smartphone, while credit card ownership in the country is below 3 percent. This implies a majority of users have the ability to access free online content, without the ability to pay for premium services. Direct Carrier Billing API helps digital merchants overcome this challenge by allowing any prepaid and postpaid mobile user to make payments through their telco balance instead.

Through this collaboration, Fortumo is only required to integrate once with Apigate to deploy premium content by digital content providers at a faster rate and reduced costs to more than 8 million Smart subscribers. Apigate provides Fortumo with immediate access to the Cambodian API marketplace, thus enhancing sales and business reach for all parties involved.

Chief Executive Officer of Axiata Digital, Mohd Khairil Abdullah said, “This collaboration adds value to Apigate by tapping into the underserved segment in Cambodia which consists largely of the prepaid segment without credit card ownership. We look forward to create a long-term collaboration with Fortumo and derive mutual benefits from scale, faster delivery, and richer content for the underserved segment across our footprint.”

“Digital merchants are increasingly relying on telco channels for user acquisition, payments, and loyalty. Fortumo is able to give them access to these channels at scale, by enabling global expansion through one integration. We are excited to plug in another connection with Apigate, a leading and innovative API platform and services provider in the region, to create increased reach and revenue both for our merchants as well as our telco partner,” said Sid Sahi, Vice President of Carrier Sales and Business Development in South-East Asia, Fortumo.

Incorporated in 2017, Apigate has built a network of global and regional partners including major marketplaces such as the Apple App Store and Google Playstore. Apigate’s hubs across four continents in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America gives it access to 1.3 billion customers from over 50 MNOs.

Fortumo’s service is used by leading digital merchants and mobile operators around the world. In addition, Fortumo offers local market insights and facilitates relationships with mobile operators.

PCCW Global and Colt demonstrate payment settlements using blockchain

PCCW Global and Colt demonstrate speedy payment settlements using blockchain technology.

PCCW Global, the international operating division of HKT, Hong Kong’s premier telecommunications service provider, and Colt Technology Services have collaborated with Clear, a blockchain start-up company, to demonstrate that inter-carrier settlement times can be reduced from hours to minutes by blockchain technology.

The objective of this Proof of Concept (PoC) was to ascertain if the advantages offered by blockchain technology could be applied to make inter-carrier settlements more efficient, reliable, and scalable.

This PoC was specifically focused on the settlement area of wholesale voice minutes, as the majority of telecom operators have similar processes for these transactions.

Today, despite the financial importance of these settlements to wholesale carriers, they still involve manual transactions which are costly for all parties. In the trial, the application of blockchain’s decentralized, cryptographically enforced, immutable ledger technology resulted in tens of thousands of call records being analyzed and settled in a few minutes. Using blockchain technology, hundreds of hours of manual work were reduced to seconds of automated verification and settlement.

Furthermore, blockchain technology adds an extra layer of security and trust to transactions in an industry where sensitive and proprietary information is frequently exchanged, fraud is rife, and dispute resolution can be lengthy and complex.

Most of today’s blockchain technologies lack solutions for scalability, contract privacy and enterprise grade business logic, all critical for an industry wide settlement and clearing platform. However, through the use of proprietary technologies, this PoC demonstrated the viability of a blockchain-based wholesale trading system.

Both Colt and PCCW Global are members of the ITW Global Leaders’ Forum (GLF), where discussions on blockchain have featured heavily, and it was in this forum that the collaboration was cemented. GLF aims to foster an environment within the telecom industry that focuses on ubiquity and interoperability among providers. This PoC was centered around these themes by attempting to understand how a technology such as blockchain can benefit the sector as a whole.

Mr. Marc Halbfinger, Chief Executive Officer of PCCW Global and the Chairman of the GLF, said, “Everyone is talking about blockchain but the use cases in the telecom industry have been fairly limited until now. Whilst this deployment is currently only at the PoC stage, through our collaboration with Colt we are eager to demonstrate how the many potential uses of blockchain across our industry can deliver value by improving the ways in which we interoperate.”

Mr. Carl Grivner, Chief Executive Officer of Colt, said, “It is our goal to create a more agile, customer oriented organization, and one way in which we are doing this is by exploring the benefits of disruptive technologies, such as blockchain. Collaborating with PCCW Global and Clear is ground breaking, as we have demonstrated how blockchain can transform the way we conduct business in the telecom industry.”

Mr. Gal Hochberg, Chief Executive Officer of Clear, said, “It is exciting for any business to create something that has the power to truly innovate how an entire industry operates. This PoC marks the beginning of how blockchain is set to revolutionize the telecom sector.”

Tele2 Netherlands deploys Nokia Cognitive Analytics

Tele2 Netherlands deploys Nokia Cognitive Analytics real-time software to consistently deliver a superior customer experience.

Nokia Traffica is helping Tele2 Netherlands deliver a superior real-time subscriber experience on its mobile network by more quickly and accurately identifying and resolving service issues and improving network quality.

Nokia Traffica software is part of the Nokia Cognitive Analytics portfolio. It is a real-time network analytics solution for monitoring and troubleshooting that provides deep insights into traffic, network conditions, locations, devices and subscriber activity. It enables service provider customer care and operations teams to better understand how subscribers are experiencing their services.

Building upon Tele2 Netherlands’ existing Traffica deployment, Nokia Traffica’s geolocation capabilities provide a granular view of services issues down to the geo-tile level. They also provide an intuitive, map-based visualization system making it easier for service providers to precisely pinpoint the location of service issues, such as poor cell coverage and dropped calls.

With these powerful new capabilities, Tele2 Netherlands can better detect, troubleshoot and resolve network and subscriber issues using real-world, real-time data, dramatically improving overall network quality, delivering a better subscriber experience and reducing churn.

Meile de Haan, CTO of Tele2 Netherlands, said: “Working with Nokia as our long-term strategic partner, the Traffica solution is well-suited to our needs. The new geolocation capabilities provide our customer care and operations teams with deeper insights that will enable us to consistently deliver the highest level of quality for our state-of-the-art LTE network.”

Mikko Ylä-Kauttu, account director, Netherlands at Nokia said: “Our Cognitive Analytics portfolio provides powerful tools and capabilities to help service providers increase efficiencies and improve network quality. We are delighted to work with Tele2 Netherlands to deliver the highest levels of network and service quality to their customers.”

Globe Telecom signs multi-year deal with Amdocs

Globe Telecom Signs Multi-Year Intelligent Operations Deal with Amdocs for Continuous Enhancement of Services and Operations.

Amdocs announced that it  has signed a multi-year services contract with Globe Telecom, one of the Philippines’ largest telecommunications providers, for continuous enhancement of Globe Telecom’s operations. According to the agreement, Amdocs Intelligent Operations will assist Globe in managing third-party systems and cloud management solutions. This includes modernizing and running IT operations for multiple lines of businesses, including prepaid and postpaid mobile services, fixed-line broadband, and enterprise services.

Furthermore, with Amdocs Intelligent Operations, Globe Telecom is embracing artificial intelligence, chatbots, and machine learning technologies to increase business agility and flexibility. The automation will enable faster resolution of issues and better customer experience.  As a result, Globe Telecom will be able to expedite their digital journey while reducing costs, and innovating and launching new services to deliver compelling experiences to customers.

“We are committed to enrich the lives of our customers in the digital age by continuously innovating our brand and delivering a diversity of new offerings to market faster by increasing our service agility and operations,” said Ernest Cu, president and CEO of Globe Telecom. “As we continue our journey towards the digital future, automation will play a crucial role in setting new benchmarks for customer experience,” Cu added.

“As one of the leaders in our industry, Globe Telecom thrives on continuously innovating their brand and enhancing the customer experience they deliver,” said Gary Miles, chief marketing officer at Amdocs. “With the emergence of new technologies creating ongoing disruption within the industry, more and more service providers are looking to transform traditional operations towards intelligent automation and optimization of their operations for more predictable service levels as well as improved efficiencies. Amdocs Intelligent Operations will enable Globe Telecom to continue to take to market the dynamic and compelling services which make their brand so strong.”

Amdocs Intelligent Operations is part of AmdocsONE, an open, modular and integrated solution set designed to accelerate the industry’s dynamic and continuous digital transformation.

Nokia selected by Vodafone for Mission to the Moon project

Nokia is selected by Vodafone to be its technology partner for Mission to the Moon project.

The Moon will get 4G coverage next year, 50 years after the first NASA astronauts walked on its surface. Vodafone plans to create the first 4G network on the Moon to support a mission by PTScientists in 2019 and has appointed Nokia as its technology partner.

Berlin-based company, PTScientists is working with Vodafone Germany and Audi to achieve the first privately-funded Moon landing. Mission to the Moon is due to launch in 2019 from Cape Canaveral on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

Vodafone’s network expertise will be used to set up the Moon’s first 4G network, connecting two Audi lunar quattro rovers to a base station in the Autonomous Landing and Navigation Module (ALINA). Nokia, through Nokia Bell Labs, will create a space-grade Ultra Compact Network that will be the lightest ever developed – weighing less than one kilo, the same as a bag of sugar.

Nokia Bell Labs has a long and prestigious lineage in influencing the evolution of telecommunications and information technologies, as seen through the eight Nobel Prizes that Bell Labs researchers have been awarded over past decades.

The 4G network will enable the Audi lunar quattro rovers to communicate and transfer scientific data and HD video while they carefully approach and study NASA’s Apollo 17 lunar roving vehicle that was used by the last astronauts to walk on the Moon (Commander Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt) to explore the Taurus-Littrow valley in December 1972.

Vodafone testing indicates that the base station should be able to broadcast 4G using the 1800 MHz frequency band and send back the first ever live HD video feed of the Moon’s surface, which will be broadcast to a global audience via a deep space link that interconnects with the PTScientists server in the Mission Control Centre in Berlin.

A 4G network is highly energy efficient compared to analogue radio and that will be crucial to Mission to the Moon and is the first step to building communications infrastructure for future missions.

Nokia Chief Technology Officer and Bell Labs President, Marcus Weldon, said: “We are very pleased to have been selected by Vodafone to be their technology partner. This important mission is supporting, among other things, the development of new space-grade technologies for future data networking, processing and storage, and will help advance the communications infrastructure required for academics, industry and educational institutions in conducting lunar research. These aims have potentially wide-ranging implications for many stakeholders and humanity as a whole, and we look forward to working closely with Vodafone and the other partners in the coming months, prior to the launch in 2019.”

Vodafone Germany CEO, Dr. Hannes Ametsreiter, commented: “This project involves a radically innovative approach to the development of mobile network infrastructure. It is also a great example of an independent, multi-skilled team achieving an objective of immense significance through their courage, pioneering spirit and inventiveness.”

Robert Böhme, CEO and Founder of PTScientists, said: “This is a crucial first step for sustainable exploration of the solar system. In order for humanity to leave the cradle of Earth, we need to develop infrastructures beyond our home planet. With Mission to the Moon we will establish and test the first elements of a dedicated communications network on the Moon. The great thing about this LTE solution is that it saves so much power, and the less energy we use sending data, the more we have to do science!”

Vodafone selects NEC/Netcracker for Domain Orchestration

Vodafone Will Leverage NEC/Netcracker’s Hybrid Operations Management to Drive Groupwide Cloud Transformation.

NEC Corporation and Netcracker Technology announced that Vodafone Group has selected NEC/Netcracker’s Hybrid Operations Management (HOM) solution to support its transition into a telecommunications cloud provider. The virtualization initiative will incorporate the use of cloud-native, SDN and NFV technologies to evolve operational and business systems and processes. NEC/Netcracker’s Hybrid Operations Management will support this initiative by orchestrating and managing end-to-end resources and services within Vodafone domains.

Vodafone Group is one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies and provides a range of services including voice, messaging, data and fixed communications.

NEC/Netcracker’s solution will help Vodafone streamline and automate operational processes across its operating companies in order to increase service efficiency and flexibility. This will reduce the time it takes to launch new services and enable dynamic, closed-loop operations with automated lifecycle capabilities in order to meet unpredictable and constantly changing network demand.

Vodafone and NEC/Netcracker will jointly demonstrate the power of orchestration to deliver zero-touch cloud services at Mobile World Congress 2018. The compelling demonstration underscores the role of orchestration to automate networks and services driving agility and cost efficiencies in the mobile market and will be showcased in Vodafone’s booth in Hall 3 Stand 3D30 and NEC/Netcracker’s booth in Hall 2 Stand 2H31.

“As we accelerate the transformation of our network and services to fully leverage cloud and virtualization, Orchestration and Automation plays a critical role in how we build and operate both the infrastructure and our business,” said Fran Heeran, Head of Network Virtualization, SDN and NFV at Vodafone Group. “We selected NEC/Netcracker due to its deep understanding of both physical and virtual domains and its unique capabilities for hybrid operations across physical and cloud environments.”

“As customer demands change, service providers are under increasing pressure to leverage networks that will enable the delivery of new services and support evolving customer lifestyles,” said Andrew Feinberg, President and CEO at Netcracker. “We are excited to work with Vodafone on its massive cloud transformation program, which will lay the foundation for innovation to deliver the next generation of digital services.”

Aria Networks joins ETSI Network AI Initiative

AI (Artificial Intelligence) and networking pioneer Aria Networks has joined the ETSI group formed to lead the industry in mapping the future of AI and Networking.

The ETSI Experiential Networked Intelligence (ENI) Industry Specification Group (ISG) was set up in February 2017, to define a new architecture for network management leveraging Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to improve automation.

ETSI ENI already has the backing of telecom operators including Telecom Italia and Vodafone, as well as vendors such as Huawei, ZTE, Samsung and Xilinx. Aria is the first independent software vendor to join the group. (The full list of members is at https://portal.etsi.org/TBSiteMap/ENI/ListOfENIMembers.aspx)

Aria’s Head of Research, Dr Archie Wade, commented: “Network automation has risen to the top of the agenda for network operators in the last few years. But many operators are still taking quite a narrow view of what that means, and the role for AI. Through our participation in the ETSI ENI group, we hope to provide an industry blueprint for business-driven network automation, delivering real transformation.”

ETSI ENI Chair, Ray Forbes, added: “We welcome Aria’s involvement in our group. The practical application of AI techniques to networking challenges is a rare but vital skill set for this initiative.”

Aria Networks is a pioneer in the field of AI and Networking. Its software platform uses AI and Machine Learning to create optimal designs for complex networks, in response to any set of criteria (such as lowest latency, lowest power consumption) or conditions (such as scheduled or unplanned outages).

According to Aria, the use of Artificial intelligence technology is essential for automating new software-controlled, dynamic networks including 5G. By using AI to automate network design and optimisation processes, operators can achieve “closed loop” operations at a business level, delivering greater agility and scalability.
Aria has previously featured in high-profile industry collaborations such as Vodafone’s 2016 Mobile World Congress “VPN+” demonstration, and several TeleManagement Forum “Catalyst” collaborations on 5G slicing and closed loop automation.

Aria’s technology has been used by Tier 1 network operators including BT and Level3 as well as web-scale giants such as Facebook. Privately-held, the company is based in the UK.

Amdocs and Amazon Web Services announce strategic program

Amdocs and Amazon Web Services Announce Strategic Program.

Amdocs announced a strategic collaboration agreement with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to accelerate Communications Service Providers’ (CSPs) transition to the cloud to drive rapid innovation and operational efficiencies.

A recent, comprehensive industry survey completed by Analysys Mason found that by 2022 more than 90 percent of CSP systems will run on the cloud, with more than 60 percent of these systems running on hybrid architectures. To address this growing segment Amdocs, with AWS, will provide several initiatives, including:

  • The migration of Amdocs’ Business Support Systems and third-party legacy environments into an optimized, hybrid cloud operational environment.  Amdocs will enable and support CSPs as they deploy and migrate new and existing Amdocs products to AWS.
  • Amdocs Managed Services Provider (MSP) practice to help CSPs modernize and drive low touch operations on an efficient and outsourced basis, including highly secure and reliable AWS technologies.  This practice leverages Amdocs’ certification distinction as an AWS Advanced Technology Provider Partner in the AWS Partner Network (APN).
  • To help CSPs test new offerings, consumer uptake and disruptive business models for faster time to market and greater business agility, Amdocs will use cutting-edge technologies around open source, hyper-scale systems, and elastic network scaling to create AWS cloud-native environments.

“Communications and media providers run some of the most mission critical and hyper scale systems on the planet.  Amdocs is a clear long-term leader in enabling CSPs across the globe and we are excited to collaborate with them to deliver impactful value to our mutual customers,” said Terry Wise, Global Vice President of Channels and Alliances, Amazon Web Services, Inc. “The Amdocs and AWS strategic collaboration has been created to support CSPs as they embark on and accelerate their cloud journey to achieve new levels of business agility, innovation, and cost savings.  This collaboration will enable CSPs to rapidly become digital service providers, delivering new and enhanced customer experiences that are simple, personal, contextual and valuable at every point of engagement across all channels.”

“Putting the customer first is an ethos that both companies are very passionate about. This strategic collaboration with AWS will help accelerate our customers’ cloud journeys while strengthening our own cloud-native capabilities. AmdocsONE is fueled by cloud technologies as a fundamental design tenant and, as a result, many of our platforms today are fully cloud-native. We leverage a carrier-grade, microservices design paradigm to harness the dynamic scaling and deployment power of the AWS Cloud, and are excited about what this opportunity means to our customers,” said Anthony Goonetilleke, Group President for Amdocs Technology.

The Amdocs strategic program represents an expansion of the existing relationship between Amdocs and AWS. The companies have been working together for several years to support communication and media companies in their move to the cloud. In November 2016, Amdocs achieved AWS Internet of Things (IoT) Competency Partner Status, demonstrating its technical proficiency and proven customer success in the IoT connected home specialized solution area.

NEC and Netcracker advance commercial NaaS deployment at TELUS

Netcracker-Enabled Network Transformation Powers TELUS to Deliver Personalized, Software-Defined Networking Services Faster.

NEC Corporation and Netcracker Technology announced that NEC/Netcracker’s Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) Business and Operational Support solution has gone into production at TELUS, a Canadian telecommunications company.

TELUS NaaS enables businesses to virtually build, manage and cloud-optimize their networks quickly, easily and cost-effectively through a flexible self-serve platform. New secure networking services, such as SD-WAN, can be configured up to 80 percent faster than traditional networks, enabling TELUS to better serve the needs of its customers while reducing networking costs.

The TELUS NaaS solution uses NEC/Netcracker’s Order Management and Service Orchestration. The NaaS platform also utilizes NEC/Netcracker’s Business Enablement Applications, including NaaS Self-Service for real-time configuration and monitoring, and Netcracker’s Customer and Product Information Management offerings.

“Service providers are looking for new ways to evolve their networks and embrace more open ecosystems. Thanks to the emergence of cloud architecture, software-defined networking and network virtualization technologies, NaaS represents a significant stride forward in achieving these opportunities,” said Uzi Murad, General Manager North America at Netcracker.

“By leveraging the power of TELUS’ advanced fiber network, we are able to deliver access to faster and more reliable business services, including innovative NaaS solutions, to more business customers than ever before,” said Ibrahim Gedeon, CTO at TELUS. “Collaborating with NEC/Netcracker has contributed to our ability to deliver SD-WAN and other next-generation services to meet our customers’ increasingly complex demands.”

Etisalat chooses Nokia’s Nuage Networks SD-WAN

Etisalat chooses Nokia’s Nuage Networks SD-WAN solution as part of its ‘Sahaab Program’ to cloudify network services.

Nokia announced that Etisalat has chosen the Nuage Networks Virtualized Network Services (VNS) SD-WAN solution as a key element in its cloud transformation program. Nuage Networks VNS enables Etisalat to provide automated, dynamic, programmable and more efficient services to its enterprise customers. It will enable self-service ordering and configuration of services, as well as the ability to manage and control them based on the individual requirements of the enterprise.

As enterprises embrace cloud services, Etisalat is transforming its digital services infrastructure to support them. Realizing the potential and benefit of cloud-based and software-defined technologies, Etisalat had launched a corporate-wide program to ‘cloudify the network’, dubbed Sahaab – an Arabic word that translates to ‘cloud’. The program aims to harmonize hardware-centric telecom services with software-centric cloud services across the corporation.

The Nuage Networks VNS solution will provide the ideal enterprise branch service using x86-based CPEs. Transport agnostic, it offers fast, secure deployment of cloud-based WAN services with intelligent traffic steering, full application visibility and end-to-end security. Enterprises benefit from the auto-provisioned plug ‘n’ play services with quick and simple move, add and change requests.

The Nuage Networks VNS is a new wide area network service that offers customers the flexibility to adapt their network services as needed to suit ever-changing business environments. Paired with Virtual Networks Orchestration (VNO), an orchestration layer for service abstraction, Etisalat will be able to simplify, easily manage and enhance time to market of new functions and connectivity models for its SD-WAN enterprise customers.

Esmaeel Alhammadi, Senior Vice President – Network Development, Etisalat, said: “Etisalat is currently on a digital journey with our corporate strategy focused on ‘Driving digital transformation to empower societies’, and one of the major elements of this evolution is the cloudification of our network and the realization of our ‘Sahaab Program’. The Nuage Networks SD-WAN solution will play a key role in enabling us to make our network services agile and adaptive, enabling us to offer a differentiated service experience to our enterprise customers, and positioning Etisalat as the first operator to deploy this solution in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region.”

Sunil Khandekar, CEO, Nuage Networks, said: “We are pleased to be partnering with Etisalat to introduce this disruptive technology to its UAE enterprise customers. With this project, Etisalat is taking a leadership role in this fast-changing market. The Nuage Networks SD-WAN solution will help Etisalat enterprise customers gain the flexibility and functionality they need to drive their business into the cloud era.”

NTT Com India-Netmagic partners with Nuage Networks

NTT Com India-Netmagic partners with Nuage Networks to provide Managed SD-WAN Service.

NTT Com India-Netmagic announced that the company has partnered with Nuage Networks, the Nokia venture focused on Software Defined Networks (SDN), to enhance its Network as a Service (NaaS) portfolio based on its innovative Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) solution. This enables enterprises to automatically route and optimise network traffic and gain visibility of applications performance without spending more on bandwidth.

NTT Com India-Netmagic will deploy Nuage Networks’ Virtualized Network Services (VNS) solution at their data centers across the country. Once deployed, NTT Com India-Netmagic’s enterprise customers will experience increased agility and flexibility through automation and will be able to maximize the advantages of cloud. The deployment will also enable NTT Com India-Netmagic to offer advanced security services.

SD-WAN enables the broader goal of enterprises connecting users to applications in a cost-efficient WAN topology. It is independent of the type of network – wireless, wireline or the public internet – or whether the applications are hosted in data centers or on public clouds. This will also help enterprises’ branch offices to route traffic to the internet where a more expensive MPLS line is not necessary.

Sharad Sanghi, MD & CEO, Netmagic (An NTT Communications Company) said: “We are extremely delighted to partner with Nuage Networks from Nokia to further enhance our portfolio of dynamic network services. We aim to deliver innovative and agile SD-WAN services to global and Indian enterprises, and also to global MNCs having their offices in India looking to connect their remote users quickly and securely to applications in private and public clouds.”

Sunil Khandekar, founder and chief executive officer of Nuage Networks said: “We are excited to partner with NTT Com India-Netmagic to enable businesses with the benefits of automation, agility and operational simplicity. It is a testimony to our innovative product that NTT Com India-Netmagic chose our solution after a long and exhaustive selection process. NTT Com India- Netmagic will be able to attract new customers who are looking to move from MPLS to SD-WAN alternatives, with a differentiated set of on-demand network and value-added services.”

NTT Com India-Netmagic SD-WAN solution solves the existing networking challenges of enterprises by enabling them to use the most feature-rich, easy-to-use and cost-effective form of connectivity. This will establish the Company as a pioneer in SD-WAN technology in India that provides next-generation Hybrid Network solutions to global and Indian enterprises with a significant value-addition.

Overview of the solution to be deployed:

  • Nokia’s Nuage Networks VNS is built from Nuage Networks Virtualized Services Platform (VSP) and includes the Virtualized Services Directory (VSD), the Virtualized Services Controller (VSC), the Network Services Gateway (NSG) as well as a fully customizable VNS Customer Portal
  • Virtualized Services Directory is a programmable policy and analytics engine allowing administrators to define enterprise policies. VSC is also an SDN controller based on open standards providing a complete view of the control panel for faster decision making
  • Nuage Networks VNS Customer Portal is a fully customizable Graphical User Interface (GUI) accessible by Netmagic’s enterprise customers. This self-service portal enables rapid deployment of VNS features along with a number of value added features
  • The Nuage Networks solution provides a single SDN automation platform for the datacenter, WAN, and public cloud, leading to operational simplification, flexibility, and agility

Nokia’s Professional Services team will design, install and commission core components at NetMagic data center sites

OSS and Network of the Future architectures workshop in Melbourne this week

OSS and Network of the Future architectures workshop in Melbourne this week.

Click on the link above to register online.

TM Forum’s description of the event is as follows:
As part of the TM Forum Open Digital Architecture program, we are starting work on a standardized definition of Operational Domain Managers (ODM) capabilities. Telstra will be hosting an open TM Forum Local workshop on ODM to garner more industry feedback and we are looking for your participation.

This is the chance for you to provide input into the OSS and Networks of the Future architectures. While the workshop will introduce the ODA and ODM concepts, we are looking for feedback on your product plans supporting these type of architectures, understanding where we align, and what is missing. Small groups of participants will work on answering these type of questions :

Develop definition of NaaS services and the required Northbound API (i.e. towards IT and/or partner(s) that an ODM should support – from minimum viable set towards complete list
Service catalogue: service specification, service lifecycle management from design time to run-time – minimum requirements
Service assurance: Handling of closed-loop support within one domain vs composite domain or across another CSP Service instance: How is service-resource mapping & Service impact assessment handled?
Service Fulfillment: How can we track “Activation Error handling” within an atomic domain vs a composite domain? etc

Nokia and Tele2 sign strategic IoT partnership

Nokia and Tele2 sign strategic partnership to provide global IoT services.

Nokia and Tele2 IoT have signed a five-year agreement to enable the delivery of IoT services to Tele2 enterprise customers based on Nokia’s worldwide IoT network grid (WING).

Nokia WING will allow Tele2 IoT to rapidly and cost-effectively provide complete IoT services to its enterprise customers in fields including transport, healthcare, smart city and utilities to manage their connectivity needs and assets, such as connected cars or connected freight containers, around the globe. Access to a worldwide IoT network enables Tele2 IoT’s enterprise customers to benefit from low latency, regulatory compliance, advanced enterprise onboarding and 24×7 troubleshooting offered as a managed service.

Nokia WING is a ‘one-stop-shop’ IoT managed service that includes a pre-integrated global IoT core network, connectivity management as well as dedicated IoT operations, billing, security and data analytics, along with an application ecosystem.

The offering is completed with innovative solutions based on Tele2 IoT technology. The combination of these cutting edge technologies from Tele2 IoT and Nokia WING enables a new paradigm for global IoT connectivity services.

The scope of the agreement also includes the collaboration and partnership on various advanced technologies such as 5G, Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT), LTE for machine-to-machine (LTE-M), SIM management and analytics to further accelerate the global IoT ecosystem.

Rami Avidan, CEO of Tele2 IoT, said: “Nokia WING is a unique concept for worldwide IoT enablement which will allow us to serve our enterprise customers better and differentiate our offering on a global scale. We are excited about the prospect of helping our customers to easily deploy IoT services, driving new revenue growth opportunities.”

Ankur Bhan, head of WING at Nokia, said: “Nokia WING will enable Tele2 IoT to offer its enterprise customers a global service with flexible control, low latency and high levels of efficiency and enterprise automation. Together we will work on enabling new IoT solutions that can be adopted in various industries to deliver seamless, reliable and efficient processes to help businesses run more intelligently.”

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