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Orange and Equinix bring cloud agility to telco infrastructure

Digital infrastructure company makes advances in development of software-defined networking to speed global telco’s cloud model through what they claim is ‘groundbreaking as-a-service capability’

Telco Orange is to expand its cloud footprint using digital infrastructure firm Equinix’s bare metal-as-a-service capability.

The Equinix 2022 Global tech trends survey revealed that almost three-quarters (72%) of companies surveyed around the world are planning to expand in the next 12 months, despite economic concerns and supply chain challenges – and they are relying on digital strategies to achieve that.

Based on virtualised network functions and software-defined wide area networks (SD-WANs), Orange already has 40 software-defined networking (SDN) points of presence (PoPs) around the world and aims to reach more than 100 Telco Cloud PoPs by 2024 as part of its eNGINe (New Generation International Network) transformation programme.

Each Telco Cloud PoP can host virtualised network service functions such as voice, 5G, CDN, SD-WAN or security services, as well as connect customers to key content and cloud service providers. The Telco Cloud PoP architecture is designed to enable Orange customers to access and manage applications in the cloud with what is described as reliable and fast connectivity and choose from an expanded portfolio with on-demand and adapted services.

The new model is designed to enable Orange to speed the deployment of its new generation international network to provide business and wholesale customers with powerful on-demand Telco Cloud PoPs, delivering essential services such as SD-WAN, CDN, 5G roaming and voice services, with an expected latency below 10 milliseconds. Three locations will be deployed by the end of this year – Amsterdam, Madrid and Seattle.

Equinix says that by integrating with automated, dedicated bare metal as a service located in proximity to its existing networks, Orange can quickly meet customer demand for growth, deploying in weeks from inception instead of in months. It also believes use of the as-a-service model means Orange can accelerate its next-generation services without the up-front capex or complexities of global supply chains, while retaining full choice and control over IT infrastructure and digital transformation projects.

Courtney Munroe, vice-president for telecommunications research at IDC, described the partnership as a smart move, enabling Orange to enhance its existing platform and its ability to facilitate reliable, agile digital capabilities for its customers, while being able to more quickly meet customer demand by using Equinix Metal.

“IDC research shows that enterprises look to telcos and digital infrastructure providers as key partners for hybrid IT infrastructure and cloud networking requirements,” he said. “Also, the enhanced Telco Cloud Platform will improve Orange’s operational efficiency and flexibility, and most importantly will allow it to offer enhanced low-latency performance and on-demand requirements for enterprises around the world.”

Jean-Luc Vuillemin, executive vice-president, international networks at Orange, said: “We are delighted to partner with Equinix to deploy Orange Telco Cloud PoPs technology on top of Equinix Metal. By embracing an ‘as-a-service’ infrastructure model and focusing investment in our SDN and VNF capabilities, Orange can provide a fully flexible and elastic solution to customers, speed up the deployment of our planned 100 Telco Cloud PoPs, and quickly adapt capacity to meet demand.”

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