November 23, 2021
Telefónica has announced an expansion of its longstanding partnership with Wipro, an Indian tech firm.
With a view to increasing automation of 5G core (5GC) network operations in Germany and Brazil, the Spanish behemoth is working with Wipro to introduce CI/CD/CT, aka continuous integration, continuous deployment and continuous testing. If everything goes well, Telefónica says it's planning a similar rollout in Spain and the UK.
Wipro, according to the official statement, built the solution using open source tools. It will also take on the systems integrator (SI) role.
The aim, added Telefónica, is to leverage a "common CI/CD/CT framework" in different markets. Using Wipro's SI knowhow, specific and local integration needs can apparently be met. In this way, said Telefónica, collaboration on CI/CD/CT rollout should become easier among the group's national operating businesses. They can share design and configuration parameters, for example, as well as cross-reference test plans and results.
"Fast, reliable and standardized automation of all tasks from build to production will improve our time to market as well as service quality," reckoned Thomas Braun, manager of test environments and integration at Telefónica Germany.
Moreover, claimed Telefónica, as Wipro's network automation tools are built on open source software, it is "open to evolution, allowing rapid adaptation to future technological changes." Mention was made too of "common repository test tools,'' with the possibility of "future integration with the CI/CD/CT pipeline."
While the initial CI/CD/CT focus of Telefónica and Wipro is 5GC, they plan to expand the solution to other areas, including transport, access and infrastructure. The two companies are also collaborating on implementing and incorporating the CI/CD/CT framework in the Telefónica technology and automation lab based in Madrid.
Telefónica likes Wipro (and others)
Telefónica CTIO Cayetano Carbajo, who described CI/CD/CT as a "must" in the operator's 5G strategy, lavished praise on Wipro in prepared remarks.
Reflecting on what he saw as "key steps" on the path of network automation, Carbajo said "we see Wipro as the best partner for this journey given the knowhow and the experience we have in some other projects of automation, like SDN implementation."
In a previous vote of Wipro confidence, Telefónica Germany, in February, announced a five-year strategic partnership with the Indian tech firm aimed at transforming its business support systems and associated quality assurance as part of what it called a "radical IT transformation" program.
It wasn't an exclusive deal, however. Tech Mahindra, another Indian tech firm, was also handed a major role.
Telefónica is looking for SI diversity in the open RAN space, too, with Japan's NEC given system integrator duties for trials in Spain, Germany, the UK and Brazil.
Want to know more about 5G? Check out our dedicated 5G content channel here on Light Reading. And in keeping with its multi-vendor ethos, Telefónica recently signed a multi-year deal to use the collected networking know-how of IBM, Red Hat and Juniper to help implement Unica Next, the Spanish operator's cloud-native 5G core network platform. The platform is intended to be based on "open" technologies and will be deployed across multiple central, regional and distributed data centers offering low latency and high bandwidth. IBM's Cloud Pak for Network Automation, Red Hat's OpenShift, and Juniper Networks' Apstra and QFX technology will all feature. — Ken Wieland, contributing editor, special to Light Reading
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