Vodafone Group and US-based virtual infrastructure firm VMware have signed a software licensing agreement. Under the agreement, VMware will be one of the vendors to support the operator’s global roll out of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV). Software-defined virtualized platforms and services are an important part of the plans for Vodafone as company evolve their mobile networks towards the introduction of 5G in around 2020.
Under this partnership, Vodafone will deploy VMware vCloud NFV platform across its various applications and networks. The mobile operator will be assisted by a VMware’s Carrier-Grade Support support for the implementation of new software. Vodafone Group is one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies. It has mobile operations in 26 countries, partners with mobile networks in 49 more, and fixed broadband operations in 19 markets.
“Reducing the time and cost to deploy and operate services, utilizing automation and convergence in standardized cloud environments for our network and IT businesses is a critical part of our technology and operational transformation strategy,” said Fran Heeran, Vodafone Group’s Head of Network Virtualisation.
VMware vCloud NFV will provide Vodafone with an ETSI-compliant, modular, multi-tenant NFV platform that supports choice in virtual infrastructure managers (VMware and OpenStack). The vCloud NFV platform combines a highly available, carrier-grade NFV infrastructure with Day 2 operations management and service assurance capabilities.
Customers such as Vodafone are able to roll out multiple applications on a common NFV infrastructure, rather than building new platforms for each innovative service.
“Vodafone’s selection of VMware to support network transformation highlights how we are a proven, strategic software innovator that can help communications service providers successfully deliver new services faster while driving down costs,” said Shekar Ayyar, executive vice president and general manager, Telco Group at VMware. “Our vCloud NFV platform is an agile and flexible virtualized infrastructure platform. Combined with Carrier-Grade Support, this will provide Vodafone with an open platform for new service development today, with an architecture that will support 5G deployments in the future.”