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Frontier's customers using the Nile network-as-a-service (NaaS) offering will have the option to add or subtract features such as switches, firewalls and wireless access points as part of their monthly subscription.
January 25, 2024
Fiber provider Frontier Communications is the first service provider in North America to deploy Nile's network-as-a-service (NaaS) offering. In addition to providing it as a managed service for its enterprise customers, Frontier has deployed the technology at its headquarters in Dallas.
NaaS provides enterprises with a subscription and cloud-based model to operate and manage their network. This reduces the need to invest upfront in networking and security hardware and software.
"NaaS is a cloud-enabled, usage-based consumption model that allows users to acquire and orchestrate network capabilities without owning, building, or maintaining their own infrastructure," said IDC analyst Brandon Butler, according to Network World.
Expanding managed services
Ettienne Brandt, EVP for Frontier, said the service provider is delving into more managed services after launching a Meraki-based managed network service offering last year. The Meraki service has a "mid-market focus" for Frontier's smaller customers, he said.
Frontier teamed up with Nile in an effort to expand its managed service portfolio and address "larger scale network services," according to Brandt. Frontier operates in 25 states, providing fiber connectivity to verticals such as healthcare, universities, and state and local governments.
Frontier's customers using the NaaS offering will have the option to add or subtract features such as switches, firewalls and wireless access points as part of their monthly subscription.
Niraj Singh, Chief Business Development Officer for Nile, said the company's NaaS offering utilizes AI to detect and remedy network issues, reducing trouble tickets by 95%. The NaaS offering also provides zero-trust security features.
Both the MSP and end-user business customer have individualized customer dashboards to manage and monitor their NaaS deployments, said Singh.
The bigger picture
The move toward NaaS is part of enterprises' broader digital transformation and cloud migration, Singh explained.
"If you look at it from an enterprise perspective, they've already moved the data centers to the cloud and are looking at firewall-as-a-service," he said. "The last bit is Wi-Fi and campus LAN as-a-service."
Last October, Nile launched a Guest Service offering to separate visitors' Internet traffic at enterprises' on-premise locations by tunneling guest traffic to Nile point-of-presence (PoP).
SaaS-based network security services are forecasted to exceed $90 billion in cumulative revenue between 2023 and 2028, according to researchers at Dell'Oro Group. Dell'Oro Sr. Director Mauricio Sanchez said the increase in virtual and SaaS-based network security investments coincides with enterprises relying more on "flexible, cloud-centric approaches" that support distributed employees and applications.
Senior Editor, Light Reading
Kelsey is a senior editor at Light Reading, co-host of the Light Reading podcast, and host of the "What's the story?" podcast.
Her interest in the telecom world started with a PR position at Connect2 Communications, which led to a communications role at the FREEDM Systems Center, a smart grid research lab at N.C. State University. There, she orchestrated their webinar program across college campuses and covered research projects such as the center's smart solid-state transformer.
Kelsey enjoys reading four (or 12) books at once, watching movies about space travel, crafting and (hoarding) houseplants.
Kelsey is based in Raleigh, N.C.
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