Nokia launches SaaS for fixed networks portfolio

Comms tech giant intros software as a service for fixed networks portfolio line-up covering broadband and Wi-Fi controller, as well as operational tools

Nokia has announced a cross-portfolio line-up of fixed network systems now available on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) basis.

The comms tech provider says that offering its solutions as part of a SaaS delivery model reduces IT dependencies, and a usage-based subscription can deliver up to 25% lower cost of ownership.

The calculation comes from analyst house Analysys Mason, which noted that while market perceptions exist of telecom SaaS services having higher longer-term costs due to recurring monthly subscriptions, those perceptions did not typically take into account the full extent of potential benefits using SaaS services, including lower initial investment and always having the latest software and technology.

In the case of the on-premise model, communications service providers (CSPs) often have to buy datacentre resources every five years or so and use IT consultants regularly to manage their elaborate IT environments.

“Care, therefore, should be taken to compare not just the licensing costs for various deployments, but also the costs associated with end-of-life upgrades, staffing and maintenance in order to understand the full range of cost savings that can be achieved by using a SaaS-based deployment,” said the company.

“CSPs may gain more benefit by outsourcing the responsibility of a deployment’s maintenance to a vendor, thereby enabling internal staff to focus on improving revenue generation. This also means that resources that would otherwise have been spent on hardware can be spent elsewhere.”

The new Nokia fixed networks applications are already available on bare metal servers and in the cloud, and can be deployed by operators on a SaaS delivery model with a portfolio including the Altiplano Access Controller and Wi-Fi Cloud Controller. Operational tools for automated activation of end-user fibre modems, predictive care and network build and management are also part of the line-up.

Potential users can start with a small investment and subscription plan and can easily scale up and down based on business success. Tasks and risks related to cloud infrastructure are eliminated, allowing them to focus on their core business – running the fixed access network.

Julie Kunstler, chief analyst at research firm Omdia, said: “Being able to opt out of running software on costly, complex, on-premise infrastructure is a big advantage for operators. Furthermore, a SaaS model means more flexibility and an easier path to delivering new services.”

Sandy Motley, president, fixed networks at Nokia, said: “SaaS gets operators started quickly. No special IT set-up means reduced upfront deployment costs, and in a highly competitive world, operation efficiency is key to both high-quality customer service and business profitability.

“Operators can tailor the subscription package choosing the service-level agreements and levels of support to meet their operational needs. They can deploy different Nokia SaaS instances for use in production, lab testing, pilots or development.”

Companies such as Metronet and LUS Fiber are using the all-inclusive SaaS service where Nokia performs the application hosting, including the set-up, monitoring, maintenance and updates.

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