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StarHub taps OpenStack to run telco network

The Singapore telco has deployed OpenStack and signed up for Red Hat’s training programme to equip its network engineers with technical expertise

Singapore telco and pay TV operator StarHub is the latest telco in the city-state to operate its network using OpenStack, underscoring the open source platform’s growing inroads in the telecoms industry.

The company has deployed Red Hat OpenStack across its infrastructure, and signed up for the Red Hat Training and Certification programme to equip its integrated network engineering team with technical expertise to operate cloud-based platforms.

Red Hat said the training will help StarHub’s engineers roll out services quickly with less need for troubleshooting. The programme will also expose them to unique and critical real-world scenarios by providing extensive training and knowledge of tools and solutions for different situations, it added.

Led by chief technology officer Chong Siew Loong, StarHub’s network engineering team designs and maintains fixed and wireless networks to deliver content and connectivity services to consumers and enterprises.

The team has clinched multiple awards for their ability to innovate and transform StarHub’s infrastructure to meet customers’ needs. In August 2018, the team was credited for delivering Singapore’s fastest and most consistent mobile network by mobile analytics company OpenSignal.

“Our networks can only be as good as the team managing them,” Chong said. “This is why at StarHub, we invest in the development of our people to maintain the high levels of professional competency required to offer our customers the best network experience.

“Amid rapid technological advances, we work with renowned software companies like Red Hat to hone skills that are not only relevant today, but a catalyst for future innovation.”

Besides StarHub, telco upstart MyRepublic has been using Red Hat OpenStack to scale up and add resources to handle spikes in demand, resulting in higher system availability and lower latency, according to MyRepublic’s group CIO Eugene Yeo.

Yeo said the OpenStack infrastructure has also enabled MyRepublic to introduce new services quickly and address new requirements better. The telco is more agile now, and has the ability to host different workloads on the same infrastructure cluster.

Communications service providers have been one of the leading users of OpenStack due to the growing implementation of network function virtualisation (NFV), a key enabler for 5G infrastructures while reducing reliance on proprietary networking hardware.

Both the European Telecommunications Standards Institute and Linux Foundation collaboration project OPNFV have defined specifications and released reference platforms for NFV that recommend the use of OpenStack as the virtualisation infrastructure manager.

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