& cplSiteName &

Orange Moves to 'Industrial' NFV Phase, Will Start in Spain

Iain Morris
10/11/2017
50%
50%

THE HAGUE -- SDN NFV World Congress -- Orange has finished defining its "target architecture" for more virtualized and software-based networks and will embark on a rollout in Spain in the next few months.

The French operator, which maintains networks in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, has already carried out some virtualization trials and since last year has been offering on-demand services based on virtualization technology to some of its enterprise customers, under the EasyGo brand. (See Orange Kicks Off 'Universal CPE' Trials and Orange Plots Mass Network-as-a-Service Rollout.)

But Orange (NYSE: FTE) says it has now taken a firm decision on the suppliers and technologies it wants to use across its entire footprint and will start work on an "industrial mode" rollout imminently.

"The first step was to define -- the next is to deploy across all our affiliates, starting in Europe but going soon also into the EMEA [Europe, the Middle East and Africa] zone," said Emmanuel Bidet, the vice president of convergent networks control for Orange, during a keynote presentation at today's SDN NFV World Congress in The Hague.

Building on its experiences with EasyGo and during other trials, Orange says the multinational deployment will rely on Red Hat Inc. (NYSE: RHT) for OpenStack deployment, the Contrail solution from Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) for the SDN controller and hardware provided by Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Dell Networking .

Bidet says Orange is confident that with this setup it will be able to onboard virtual network functions (VNFs) from a variety of different vendors.

"We are now going to deploy this target infrastructure and the first country we will start in will be Spain," said Bidet.

Orange already has a point of presence (PoP) in Europe that supports its target architecture but will add another one next year under its latest deployment plans. It is also now working on the sourcing of VNFs and aims to introduce a virtual evolved packet core (vEPC) function into its network in the coming months. "We launched an RFP [request for proposals] earlier this year and will make a decision before the end of the year," said Bidet.

The French operator has prioritized the virtualization of the EPC function largely because of traffic demands on its network, but also reckons this could help to support very specific needs, such as providing service improvements in particular hotspots.

Bidet said EasyGo would get new features under the latest program and be extended into additional markets. Having so far been aimed at large enterprise customers, EasyGo will also be made available to small and medium-sized enterprises.


For more NFV-related coverage and insights, check out our dedicated NFV content channel here on Light Reading.


From an internal perspective, Orange has been centralizing some of its operations and now maintains just one network operations center (or NOC) for all of its European markets besides France. Another NOC caters to all of its markets in the Middle East and Africa, said Bidet.

He also highlighted the importance of open source technology to Orange's broader transformation efforts. "Open source can help the ecosystem to migrate and with interoperability," he explained.

Orange appears to have taken a proactive role in OPNFV, an open source NFV infrastructure initiative, and is also one of the main players in ONAP, a management and network orchestration (MANO) effort led by AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T).

ONAP faces competition from another MANO initiative called Open Source MANO (OSM), which is sponsored by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and counts Telefónica and BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) as operator members.

Industry concern is growing that ONAP and OSM may fail to reach agreement on common information models, making it harder for developers to write the code that allows one company's systems to be used alongside or in place of another's.

— Iain Morris, News Editor, Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
James_B_Crawshaw
50%
50%
James_B_Crawshaw,
User Rank: Blogger
10/12/2017 | 7:48:47 PM
EasyGo
Easy come, easy go? I'm surprised Stelios Haji-Ioannou hasn't unleashed his lawyers.
Featured Video
From The Founder
John Chambers is still as passionate about business and innovation as he ever was at Cisco, finds Steve Saunders.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
September 12, 2018, Los Angeles, CA
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 6, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 7-8, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Adtran Will Be a 5G Winner, Says Analyst
Iain Morris, News Editor, 7/19/2018
Trump Trashes EU's $5B Google Fine
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 7/19/2018
Get Off My Wireline Lawn!
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/17/2018
Eurobites: EU Socks Google With $5B Monster-Fine for Android Control-Freakery
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 7/18/2018
Sensors Working Overtime: T-Mobile NB-IoT Goes Nationwide
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 7/19/2018
Upcoming Webinars
Webinar Archive
Animals with Phones
Casual Tuesday Takes On New Meaning Click Here
When you forget your pants.
Latest Comment
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed