Worldwide, communications service providers (CSPs) are adopting software-defined virtualized platforms and services as they evolve their mobile networks for the upcoming introduction of 5G. That’s because Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) streamlines the design and deployment of networking services and automates their operation—all while enhancing scalability and controlling costs.


Vodafone Group—with mobile operations in 24 countries and fixed broadband operations in 19 markets—is working with VMware on a global rollout of NFV. In 2020, the CSP completed the rollout across all of its European businesses—21 markets in total.


Vodafone is using NFV and software-defined networking technologies across apps and networks to accelerate its delivery of cloud-based network functions. With a single digital network architecture across European markets, Vodafone can now securely design, build, test and deploy next-generation functions 40 percent faster than before, according Vodafone’s internal analysis. Meanwhile, infrastructure automation helps limit the amount of manual intervention required to operate and maintain Vodafone networks.


“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,” says Johan Wibergh, group technology officer, Vodafone Group. “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 percent.”


Through network modernization, VMware helps CSPs create new revenue streams and improve overall customer satisfaction, enabling them to become more responsive to evolving expectations. “Leading service providers, like Vodafone, are adopting a telco cloud infrastructure to deliver next-generation applications and services,” says Shekar Ayyar, executive vice president and general manager, Telco and Edge Cloud, VMware. “The successful engagement between our two companies is evident in the tremendous results Vodafone has captured since starting on their network transformation journey. We look forward to continuing to innovate together to unlock the transformational benefits of network modernization for Vodafone customers.”


VMware provides an optimal infrastructure for all telco applications and services, including custom-built, packaged, virtualized, cloud-native and software-as-a-service (SaaS) components. With this infrastructure, CSPs can deliver applications securely to any endpoint across telco distributed clouds.


CSPs can roll out multiple applications on a common NFV infrastructure, rather than building new platforms for each innovative service. The VMware-based virtualized infrastructure also provides a consistent infrastructure spanning network and IT operations, further improving operational efficiencies and overall economics. With VMware, CSPs have the flexibility to choose from several VMware Ready for NFV–certified virtual network functions, providing confidence in pretested and pre-certified solutions that can reduce deployment risk.


VMware’s telco cloud platform also provides the automation for virtual compute, storage, networking, management and operations capabilities. CSPs can not only accelerate time to market for new services but also streamline operations, reducing network infrastructure costs and deploying elastic business models for telco workloads. ▪

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