Telco cloud is a next-generation network architecture that combines software-defined networking, network functions virtualization, and cloud native technology into a distributed computing network. Since the network and the computing resources are distributed across sites and clouds, automation and orchestration are required.
This evolution refers to the deployment of virtualized and programmable network infrastructure that takes advantage of automation and artificial intelligence. Furthermore, it encompasses the adoption of innovative cloud business practices that change the way networks operate.
More specifically, a telco cloud focuses on the creation of a common virtualized infrastructure to manage various network functions required to deliver communications services. Each function now is disaggregated from the hardware, to be operated from a horizontal platform as a virtual network function or cloud-native network function. This function is designed to execute a specific network function such as load balancing or firewalls.
The term is mostly used for referring to multi-cloud computing in the telecom industry. In particular, the telco cloud term refers to the transformation of Communications Service Providers (CSPs) using traditional infrastructure networks of vertically integrated proprietary hardware to Digital Service Providers (DSPs) using cloud-based technologies. This transformation removes technology barriers that are currently restricting CSP growth. Finally, this shift allows the agility, performance, and scalability needed to thrive in the digital era.
Ultimately, CSP modernization is about enabling future-ready-networks that can handle not just today’s applications, but tomorrow’s as well.
At VMware, we provide some of the best digital capabilities in the industry. But that’s not the only reason our CSP customers love working with us. Another important factor is our DNA—our reason for being—aligns more closely with their transformation vision than anyone else. Our experience not only helps us create the most effective technologies but also helps our customers adapt to a new way of doing business. Through knowledge transfer, our service provider partners reduce transformation resistance by learning about software-centric approaches with platforms built to reduce transformation risks.
VMware’s multi-vendor, multi-cloud platform for software-driven services provides CSPs a flexible foundation. This foundation enables dynamic and automated operations, driving network transformation velocity, accelerating service delivery. However, the technology foundation is only part of what makes a truly transformative CSP partner. With hardware disaggregation DNA and cloud expertise, VMware’s operational philosophy aligns well with what CSPs need to thrive in the digital era.
Beyond its advanced platforms, VMware helps CSPs find a faster path to monetization through a vast, pre-integrated partner ecosystem. With over 200 verified VNFs and CNFs that are operational on day one, VMware’s multi-vendor-enabled platform accelerates service and product deployment. This means you will have simplified integration efforts and streamlined tooling across your network. What formerly took months to integrate and deploy, now takes minutes.
The VMware Telco cloud Platform combines a suite of products and services to help CSPs modernize and virtualize their network and RAN by deploying the power of automation and orchestration with multi-cloud platforms, edge computing, and private MEC 5G.
VMware understands this transformation requires multiple components and has situated its telco cloud product suite around four key imperatives:
While these imperatives are not entirely discrete, and often rely on connections to one another, conceptualizing CSP transformation around these imperatives helps businesses chart their future trajectory.
1 - Modernize the Network
Network modernization remains a principal goal of CSP transformation, one that allows CSPs to remove silos and avoid geographic limitations by virtualizing their network. Virtualization and modernization make networks agile, portable, and dynamic. Offering improved uptime and efficiency, virtualization essentially does for the network what virtualization already did for data centers. With automated workload portability across a multi-cloud network, CSPs can move their network from ‘as built’ to ‘as a service’, offering new avenues for monetization.
VMware Telco Cloud Platform – VMware Telco Cloud Platform deploys containerized network functions (CNFs) and virtual network functions (VNFs) side-by-side, and automated operations from core to edge. The platform removes integration obstacles with its multi-vendor ecosystem, accelerating 5G services deployment and helping companies be market leaders.
VMware Telco Cloud Infrastructure – Telco Cloud Infrastructure offers a consistent, software-defined horizontal design to create a multi-cloud-enabled infrastructure that delivers optimized performance and resilience. The infrastructure helps CSPs accelerate performance, improve scale, and automate lifecycle management, while its built-in security keeps infrastructure and services protected in multitenant environments.
VMware Telco Cloud Automation - Telco Cloud Automation brings VMware’s years of cloud management, networking, orchestration, and automation to a company’s telco modernization journey. A multi-vendor-ready platform, Telco Cloud Automation accelerates time to market for network functions and services, reducing deployment time from months to mere minutes.
VMware Telco Cloud Service Assurance - Telco Cloud Service Assurance stitches together complex networks and services based on the service need – to meet SLAs and optimize the customer experience. This provides visibility and automation to CSP’s telco cloud, correlating the physical with the virtual, supporting deep analytics, and offering single pane of glass management.
2 - Disaggregate the RAN
Radio Access Network (RAN) disaggregation brings cloud-first principles to RAN, making it dynamic and portable. With network functions operating on standard servers - instead of bare metal in a specific location - CSPs can offer improved serviceability and save on expensive overhead costs without reducing performance. With a disaggregated RAN, service providers can more easily enable open, multi-vendor approaches to improve RAN innovation.
VMware Telco Cloud Platform RAN - Designed specifically for 5G RAN, VMware’s Telco Cloud Platform RAN helps CSPs manage the complexities of rapidly increasing RAN sites, simplifying operations and scalability. VMware’s RAN ecosystem accelerates time to revenue by removing complex RAN function integrations, optimizing performance, and resource utilization.
3 - Enable Programmability of Multi-Cloud Environments
By enabling programmability for multi-cloud environments, CSPs will simplify network operations by automating service delivery across end-to-end network resources. Such an architecture enabled by multi-vendor resources guards against service disruption and supports improved scalability.
VMware RAN Intelligent Controller - VMware Telco’s RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) modernizes and optimizes RAN to be open and programmable by disaggregating control and management functions from the underlying data plane. With RIC, CSPs can build flexible and future-proof RAN. With a best-of-breed multi-vendor solution, you can improve adaptability and protect your investments.
4 – Monetize with Distributed Edge
Unifying distributed edge and private 5G resources enables the use of private and secure 5G networks. This helps CSPs deliver high-speed, low-latency network services and applications as close to the end-user as possible and expands possibilities beyond a single platform and service while simplifying integration challenges. By unifying distributed edge and private 5G resources, CSPs can deploy products and services without sacrificing performance.
Private 5G Mobile Network - for Private 5G delivers a trusted foundation for a highly secure, robust, and flexible private mobile network that runs alongside other edge-native applications.