Vodafone taps VMware to complete European roll-out of network virtual infrastructure

Operator taps virtual infrastructure firm to add last piece of pan-European digital infrastructure architecture and gain agility and flexibility

With the completion of work in Albania, Vodafone has finalised its ambition to build a single digital network architecture across all its European business regions and 21 markets.

The reason behind the build, it said, was that operating a reliable, agile network that can be more efficiently upgraded to maintain the quality of coverage has never been more important. It said this was especially the case as customers across Europe relied more on Vodafone to provide critical connectivity and communications services during the Covid-19 coronavirus crisis.

As a result of the build-out project carried out with virtual infrastructure software provider VMware, Vodafone Group said the network virtual infrastructure (NVI) now enables it to design, build, test and deploy next-generation functions more securely, and which internal analysis and reporting in March 2020 calculates to be around 40% quicker. In addition, the infrastructure automation is said to help limit the amount of manual intervention required to operate and maintain Vodafone networks.

VMware’s telco cloud platform is built to enable operators to provide virtualised network services, with its capabilities allowing communications service providers to accelerate time to market and increase revenue with new services, streamline operations, reduce network infrastructure costs and deploy elastic business models for telecommunications workloads.

The VMware infrastructure is deployed by Vodafone at more than 57 sites across Europe and 25 in its Africa, Asia and Oceania markets. The cloud-based infrastructure supports voice core, data core and service platforms on over 900 virtual network functions. Almost half of Vodafone’s core network nodes providing voice and data services are run on VMware’s NVI platform, vCloud NFV.

“Vodafone wants to be the industry’s leading digital telco and we are pleased with the progress made to introduce modern cloud-based technology and automation,” commented Vodafone Group’s chief technology officer, Johan Wibergh. “Working with VMware, we have improved the speed and efficiency with which we can support customers and estimate that the cost of our core network functions has been reduced by 50%.”

Shekar Ayyar, executive vice-president and general manager for telco and edge cloud at VMware, said leading service providers, such as Vodafone, were adopting a telco cloud infrastructure to deliver next-generation applications and services.

“The successful engagement between our two companies is evident in the tremendous results Vodafone has captured since starting on its network transformation journey,” he said. “We look forward to continuing to innovate together to unlock the transformational benefits of network modernisation for Vodafone customers.”

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