Huawei and Vodafone announce collaboration

Huawei announced it has chosen Vodafone as an approved vendor to supply its FusionSphere OpenStack platform, supporting the company’s global rollout of network functions virtualization (NFV) and software defined networking (SDN).

NFV and SDN are two budding though distinct technologies changing the way telecom operators manage their networks. NFV is a process that involves decoupling services, such as firewalls, load balancing and encryption, from hardware and moving them into a virtualized environment. SDN, on the other hand, helps provision and manage virtual network functions (VNFs) by abstracting lower level functions onto a normalized control plane. According to a 2017 report released by Technology Business Research, investments in the NFV and SDN market are expected to enjoy a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 94.3 % until 2022 to over $168 billion.

Vodafone said it is pushing the adoption of NFV and SDN technologies across its business departments as part of its digital transformation efforts. The company said it wants to increase agility, consistency and efficiency throughout its business over the next few years, with the aid of Huawei’s OpenStack platform.

“We are delighted to add Huawei as a supplier for our network transformation programme,” said Fran Heeran, Vodafone Group’s head of network virtualisation. “Openness and standards are key to our future strategy and OpenStack is an important element of our transformation program. We look forward to working with Huawei to accelerate the deployment of virtualized resources and services.”

FusionSphere, a cloud operating system, is a pivotal aspect of Huawei’s cloud initiative. The technology includes a set of orchestration and management tools, horizontally consolidating physical and virtual resources in data centers, and vertically optimizing service platforms. It also supports third-party physical hardware and VNFs. According to the company, the purpose of FusionSphere is to enable enterprises and carriers to launch server virtualization, in addition to private, public and hybrid clouds.

“We are delighted to be selected to participate in such an ambitious transformation programme at Vodafone,” said Zheng Yelai, president of Huawei IT Product Line. “Huawei is committed to open standards and customer centricity and will continue to increase its investments in OpenStack development and contributions back to the open source community. Huawei is providing Vodafone with the key technologies to become future-ready in network capabilities and to embrace all that digital business has to offer.”

Vodafone also announced it signed an agreement with telecom company Softbank to provide services for its enterprise customers in Japan. The collaboration echoes a string of other low-risk deals Vodafone has landed in which telecom companies use the organization’s networks to provide voice and data services to multinational customers. Vodafone scored comparable agreements with HiWEB in Iran and T-Mobile USA in the states.

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