BT chooses Juniper Networks to unify services for cloud initiative and 5G future

BT will develop its 5G capabilities further after striking an agreement with Juniper Networks. The network developer will support BT in the delivery of its …

BT will develop its 5G capabilities further after striking an agreement with Juniper Networks. The network developer will support BT in the delivery of its Network Cloud infrastructure initiative, which will allow various lines of its business on a single platform.

A more flexible, virtualised network infrastructure will allow the biggest British telco to create new converged services for mobile, Wi-Fi, and fixed networks.

It will also bring about a range of new applications that evolve services such as internet access, TV and business network functions.

After EE, BT’s subsidiary, launched 5G in the UK on May 22, Guillaume Sampic, enterprise strategy director at BT, said that the benefits of 5G to businesses in terms of latency, speed, reliability and volume will “be a step change” from 4G.

Commenting on the Juniper Networks agreement, Neil McRae, chief architect at BT, said: “BT is a global leader in ultrafast services, with growing demand from our ultrafast broadband services and ultrafast 5G services and has the perfect opportunity to combine several discrete networks into a unified, automated infrastructure.

“This move to a single cloud-driven network infrastructure will enable BT to offer a wider range of services, faster and more efficiently to customers in the UK and around the world.”

The Network Cloud infrastructure initiative will integrate seamlessly with BT’s other partners and solutions to move it closer to an automated and programmable network, which will benefit services such as ISP, TV, IT and its voice, mobile core, radio access and internal applications.

BT is investing in a range of Juniper solutions across various tenants within the BT network, including a dynamic end-to-end networking policy and control for telco cloud workloads using Contrail Networking, cloud operations management using AppFormix and a scalable and flexible spine and leaf underlay fabric using the QFX Series.

“As a renowned global service provider, BT is a shining example of how to evolve networks to become more agile,” said Bikash Koley, CTO, Juniper Networks. “By leveraging the ‘beach-front property’ it has in central offices around the globe, BT can optimise the business value that 5G’s bandwidth and connectivity brings.

“The move to an integrated telco cloud platform brings always-on reliability, along with enhanced automation capabilities, to help improve business continuity and increase time-to-market while doing so in a cost-effective manner.”

Capacity recently spoke with Juniper Networks to learn more about its cloud-based SD-WAN solution and how differs from the competition.

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Altiostar Closes $114 Million Round to Accelerate Open Cloud-Native 4G/5G Mobile Networks

In early 2018, Qualcomm Ventures LLC and Tech Mahindra also participated … Qualcomm Technologies Inc., which has entered into a development …

Company Receives Investment from Rakuten, Qualcomm Ventures & Tech Mahindra

Altiostar, the pioneer in open virtualized RAN (open vRAN) technology, announced that it has closed a $114 million Series C round of financing with Rakuten coming on board as an investor. In early 2018, Qualcomm Ventures LLC and Tech Mahindra also participated in the C-round as investors. This financing will be used to expand Altiostar’s virtual RAN solution to encompass 4G and 5G products allowing telecom operators to build end-to-end web-scale cloud native networks.

In their recent report, Worldwide 5G Network Infrastructure Forecast, 2018–2022, IDC expects the largest percentage of overall investment to be spent in the RAN portion of 5G networks, which is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 156.6% between 2018 and 2022. Virtualization is seen by operators as a means to convert networks into a software-defined infrastructure that can scale with the agility required to meet this explosion of devices and applications.

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“A round of this magnitude, backed by global technology leaders like Rakuten, Qualcomm Ventures and Tech Mahindra, signifies the immense 5G opportunity we have in front of us as well as the progress we have made developing our virtualized RAN technology. Our unique open vRAN solution is designed to improve the quality of experience, enhance spectral efficiency and significantly reduce Total Cost of Ownership. With this funding, and these strategic partners, we’re excited about our ability to deliver this breakthrough software defined solution to network operators globally as they prepare for the 5G future,” said Ashraf M. Dahod, president and chief executive officer at Altiostar.

Concurrently with this financing round, Altiostar has agreements solidifying its relationship with each of its strategic partners.

  • Rakuten which is deploying the Altiostar solution in their mobile network and the companies are collaborating on the development of 5G solutions.
  • Qualcomm Technologies Inc., which has entered into a development collaboration agreement with Altiostar.
  • Tech Mahindra has signed a value-added-reseller/system integrator contract with Altiostar.

The Rakuten Group, headquartered in Japan, offers a variety of services in e-commerce, fintech, communications and digital content. After being granted spectrum by the Japanese government in early 2018, Rakuten plans to launch an innovative, end-to-end fully virtualized cloud-native mobile network in October 2019.

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“Rakuten shares Altiostar’s vision of open, virtualized radio access networks: The Altiostar vRAN solution is one of the key enablers of the end-to-end cloud-native, software-defined network we will launch in Japan this year. Through our work with Altiostar, we aim to take the lead in driving RAN virtualization and disrupting the mobile industry,” said Tareq Amin, CTO of Rakuten Mobile, Inc.

“Qualcomm Technologies is committed to not only developing 5G technologies to help create new experiences and transform businesses and industries, but also to investing in companies that align with our vision. Qualcomm Ventures’ investment in Altiostar reflects our confidence in the ability of disaggregated RAN and vRAN architectures to transform mobile networks. We look forward to collaborating on the development of new 5G product solutions,” said Brian Modoff, executive vice president, strategy and M&A, Qualcomm Incorporated.

“Tech Mahindra’s network service portfolio includes all aspects of building, deploying and operating radio access networks. Tech Mahindra has extended its regional services capabilities and global reach through strategic acquisitions and has a truly global presence to help provide scale to emerging technologies like Altiostar’s open vRAN solution,” said Manish Vyas, President, Communications, Media & Entertainment Business, & CEO, Network Services, Tech Mahindra.

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Kymeta: Ben Posthuma outlines how satellite service can help public safety, autonomous vehicles

Ben Posthuma of Kymeta talks about the company’s satellite service, which delivers broadband signals to vehicles equipped with a flat antenna, as a …

Ben Posthuma of Kymeta talks about the company’s satellite service, which delivers broadband signals to vehicles equipped with a flat antenna, as a complement to terrestrial 4G or 5G wireless broadband for public-safety or critical-infrastructure entities in rural locations today. In the future, Kymeta could serve as a similar connectivity complement to mass-market vehicles like autonomous cars, according to Posthuma.

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Network operations and automation: What’s the latest?

What are their objectives and how are they overcoming the challenges of this vital part of digital transformation? MIT Tech Review’s new study, out …

The telecommunications industry is going through a huge digital transformation. As service providers try to meet customer demand and their increasing expectations, technologies such as Network Functions Virtualization and cloud are becoming an integral part of their operations, while emerging technologies Artificial intelligence (AI), virtual and augmented reality (AR/VR) are also crucial if they’re to offer customers the ultra-low latency services realized by 5G. Within this emergence of automation, it’s hard to know what’s actually happening on the ground and where operators currently stand. What do they think of this transition? What are the benefits and how high are the hurdles?

What do the operators say?

Well, MIT Tech Review has today published a new report into just this. The global technology magazine conducted reviews with operators on their network modernization experiences and their plans to automate network operations. It included interviews with senior technology executives from global companies like T-Mobile USA, Vodafone, Swisscom and Telstra.

So what did they say? You can find the full study below, but here are two of my favorite highlights from the report:

Face up to disruption –Structural changes are necessary to gain the benefits of automation. Eventually, legacy systems will only add complexity and cost to network operators. After all, as Gary Traver, Architecture Executive at Telstra, says in the report, “It makes no sense at all to automate legacy”.

People challenges are far tougher than the technology ones ­­­– Operators are making structural changes to capitalize on automation. These often involve merging or redistributing responsibilities across network and IT teams. However, retraining existing staff and trying to instill DevOps principles are by far the toughest challenges.

Find out what the big industry players are up to and how they’re facing today’s increasing network demands.

Download full MIT report

Read more about Ericsson automated network operations

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SoftBank raises Yahoo Japan stake to drive growth

SoftBank Group’s domestic telecoms arm outlined plans to increase its stake in Yahoo Japan, a move it expects to fuel double-digit growth in profit and …

SoftBank Group’s domestic telecoms arm outlined plans to increase its stake in Yahoo Japan, a move it expects to fuel double-digit growth in profit and revenue in its fiscal 2019.

The Japanese unit, which was listed in December in the country’s largest-ever IPO, plans to acquire about 1.5 billion shares in the internet company for JPY457 billion ($4.2 billion) in June and make it a subsidiary. The purchase will boost SoftBank Corp’s stake to 45 per cent from 12 per cent.

Meanwhile, SoftBank Group said it will sell its 36 per cent stake in the internet company back to Yahoo Japan.

For fiscal 2019, SoftBank Corp forecast net profit, including Yahoo Japan, to increase 11.4 per cent to JPY480 billion and revenue to jump 28.1 per cent to JPY4.8 trillion.

The company said it aims accelerate growth through the stake increase and “integrate strategies, services and resources”, adding that 5G coupled with big data and AI will redefine various industries.

That said, it offered little in the way of detail on its 5G plans beyond stating it will have more than 90 per cent population coverage “at an early stage”.

SoftBank Corp said that by deepening cooperation with Yahoo Japan in areas including e-commerce and mobile payments, it will use the services and customers of both companies, along with the “massive volume and variety of big data” obtained from subscribers to “provide our customers with more convenient services tailored to their lifestyles”.

Fiscal 2018

Net profit in the fiscal year ending 31 March rose 7.5 per cent year-on-year to JPY431 billion, while total revenue increased 4.6 per cent to JPY3.75 trillion.

Telecoms service revenue was up 4.4 per cent to JPY1.99 trillion, with mobile turnover 2.5 per cent higher at JPY1.63 trillion and broadband revenue rising 14.1 per cent to JPY361 billion.

Equipment sales decreased 2.2 per cent year-on-year to JPY691 billion.

The operator added 1.9 million mobile subscribers, ending the year with 44.5 million. ARPU before discounts fell 2.7 per cent to JPY5,420. Its discounts dropped to JPY1,060 from JPY1,220 in fiscal 2018.

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