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Netcracker Launches Telco Cloud-as-a-Service

Ray Le Maistre

With network operators still struggling with the complexities of NFV and the challenges of building and running their own telco cloud systems, Netcracker has stepped in to offer a telco cloud-as-a-service software stack that can be set up in months rather than years and used to tap into the lucrative enterprise services market.

The vendor, a long-time telecom software specialist and part of the NEC empire, has developed a modular stack of software tools -- including management and orchestration, virtual infrastructure manager (VIM) and multiple virtual network functions (VNFs), digital portals, OSS and BSS systems and APIs -- that can be hosted in a public or private cloud environment (including Netcracker Technology Corp. 's own cloud platform) and used to offer multiple virtualized services to enterprises.

It has called the offer Netcracker Business Cloud and, according to the company, it is already being used by four service providers, including Telefónica Movistar in Mexico, which has deployed it to launch a SD-WAN service called NextWAN.

The company says the system can be set up and launched for commercial operation in as little as eight weeks, rather than the years it would take a service provider to build and launch its own telco cloud platform. That quicker time to market can enable service providers to more quickly tap into the potentially lucrative enterprise services market with offers such as SD-WAN, virtual CPE, unified communications-as-a-service, cloud computing and storage, and more. "This is a turnkey model to launch NFV services," noted Netcracker's VP of strategy, Ari Banerjee, during a media briefing.

Netcracker says service providers can use the whole stack or a selection of the modules, and can use preferred individual functions of their own choice that can be integrated into the Netcracker Business Cloud suite. "There is no vendor lock-in … this is a modular cloud-native approach," said Banerjee.

Banerjee added that multiple business models could be arranged with service providers wanting to use the system, including revenue share, pay-as-you-grow, licensing, fees per VNFs used and more.

The launch is the latest stopgap offer for service providers looking to gain from the benefits of NFV without having to complete their own full deployment: Only weeks ago, Orange announced it is working with Red Hat to launch enterprise services from a public cloud platform while it battles with its own telco cloud deployment. (See Is X by Orange Showing Us the OTT Future for Telcos?)

— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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