MWC 2017: Communications Service Providers ‘Realize What’s Possible’ With VMware Software

Barcelona, Spain, is one of the world’s most remarkable places for disruptive innovation in the arts and sciences. As such, it is the fitting host for the world’s largest annual gathering of the mobile industry, Mobile World Congress (MWC), Feb. 27–March 2. VMware is a key participant in this year’s gathering, showcasing the company’s leadership in driving the digital transformation of telecom, cable, and mobile operators into agile service providers. Through VMware’s unified software-defined architecture—spanning network functions virtualization (NFV), mobility, and the internet of things (IoT)—global communications service providers (CSPs) are benefitting from new revenue streams, sustainable cost reductions, increased flexibility and security, and a modernized network that is 5G and IoT ready.  

Benefits Today, While Leading the Evolution to 5G

VMware recognizes the need for CSPs to balance high customer expectations with today’s business challenges, such as increased competition and costs, lack of service differentiation, and new business models. And even as CSPs seek to transform their businesses today, they must make progress toward 5G in the years ahead. Explaining the balancing act, Shekar Ayyar, executive vice president and general manager of VMware’s Telco Group, states that “continued success and growth for CSPs depends on transforming from connectivity providers to innovators delivering rich services, content, and personalized experiences.”

Helping CSPs to reach that goal, VMware is debuting VMware vCloud NFV™ 2.0, a new platform for service delivery that is designed to modernize and transform network architectures and operations today, and to support the implementation of 5G and IoT in the future. Network functions virtualization (NFV) is the key technology behind this transition because it allows for the virtualization of many network services, such as routers and firewalls, which are currently performed by dedicated, proprietary hardware appliances.

VMware vCloud NFV facilitates this transformation by providing the virtualized infrastructure that is the prerequisite for building a 5G network. “With the introduction of vCloud NFV 2.0,” says Amit Tiwari, Affirmed Networks’ vice president, strategic alliances and systems engineering, “VMware is continuing to demonstrate its support for mobile operators by delivering an open platform they need to efficiently deploy 5G-ready networks.”

Partnering to Accelerate IoT Adoption

Another key element in VMware’s strategy is partnerships that can help enterprises and CSPs accelerate their adoption of IoT and 5G.  At MWC, VMware is taking a major step forward with that strategy in announcing its partnership with HARMAN International Industries, the premier connected technologies company for the automotive, consumer, and enterprise market.

This new collaboration between HARMAN and VMware will help CSPs add new offerings and expand revenue streams that will further enhance the IoT user experience and the delivery of innovative services. By integrating HARMAN’s portfolio of over-the-air (OTA) update solutions into VMware’s IoT solution, the partnership will help customers deploy, secure, manage, and monitor IoT infrastructure at scale to streamline industry-specific IoT use cases. It will also enable CSPs to expand their services into new markets as they evolve their network architectures to deliver 5G. It is a collaboration that will “change the landscape for non-traditional technology companies,” predicts Sanjay Dhawan, HARMAN’s president of connected services.

AirWatch Managed Mobility Services

VMware is further demonstrating its leadership in driving digital transformation in the telecom space by helping CSPs respond to the increasing demands of their customers for new mobility strategies. The company is announcing that CSPs worldwide can now offer VMware AirWatch Mobility Services as a managed service offering through the VMware vCloud® Air™ Network Managed Services Provider (MSP) offering. This is an industry-first turnkey solution for CSPs to offer Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) managed services without having to invest in their own application infrastructure or host a given customers’ EMM licenses in their data center.

“Enterprises want to focus less on IT tasks and more on their core business,” says Sumit Dhawan, VMware’s senior vice president and general manager, End-User Computing. “AirWatch managed services through the vCloud Air Network MSP offering alleviates the cost and time of deploying your own managed services environment for mobility management services.”

The Future in 5G

The message from Barcelona is clear: VMware is helping CSPs realize what’s possible through software-driven digital transformation—digital transformation that is allowing CSPs to deliver the services customers are demanding today, while preparing for the future. It is a future that will lead to the digital empowerment of new generations and the acceleration of digital innovation through entrepreneurship that will change the landscape of many industries.

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