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Telefónica Taps HP for Unica NFV

Mitch Wagner
3/3/2015
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Telefónica is turning to HP for NFV services for the carrier's Unica infrastructure, HP announced Tuesday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) is moving from a vertically integrated stack that depends on expensive, high-end equipment to horizontal scaling that relies on lots of cheap, redundant gear, says Saar Gillai, senior vice president and general manager of HP's Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) business unit. The carrier is looking to NFV to get away from using dedicated appliances for network functions. Instead, it wants to use software that can be deployed and managed remotely, without a truck roll. (In other words, the standard benefits of NFV.)

Telefónica is looking to HP because HP can integrate IT and carrier networks, as well as provide services and system integration services along with the products, Gillai says.

HP will provide its OpenNFV solution, including HP's Helion OpenStack implementation, NFV Director for orchestration, as well as hardware, service, networking and storage. (See HP's NFV Director Merges Physical, Virtual.)

The win validates HP's OpenNFV program, launched at MWC a year ago, Gillai says. Telefónica is one of the biggest and most innovative carriers in the world, and is a leader in NFV -- a founding member of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) NFV Industry Specification Group (ISG). While most other providers are just getting started with NFV, doing trials and PoCs, Telefónica is all in. (See HP Attempts NFV Surprise Despite Spoilers and HP Expands NFV Solutions.)

"Telefónica is a large provider, one of the largest in the world. It's one of the biggest telco transformations going on at the moment," Gillai says. "This is a huge validation of HP OpenNFV technology."

It's also a nice piece of change for HP. "I can't get into specifics, but this is meaningful," Gillai says.

And HP can use the money. Revenue and net income dropped in its most recent quarterly earnings report late last month, with sales flat or down in almost all product areas. CEO Meg Whitman said the company executed well, but was hurt by the strong dollar.

The company announced plans in October to split into two firms, one comprising HP's enterprise technology infrastructure, software and services business, doing business as Hewlett-Packard Enterprise. The other part will include personal systems and business, named HP Inc. (See HP to Split Into Two Companies.)

CSPs are looking to bridge carrier networks and IT -- a strength of HP's -- to achieve agility, cloud, devops and other IT benefits, while also retaining the SLAs, lifecycle management and robustness of carrier networks, Gillai says.

What does Telefónica have to say about the deal? My colleagues are meeting with them at MWC in Barcelona this week -- I'm looking to find out about that myself.


Find out more about Network Functions Virtualization on Light Reading's NFV Channel.


Telefónica launched UNICA in February 2014, describing it as an aggressive introduction of NFV into international operations. (See Telefónica Unveils Aggressive NFV Plans.)

Telefónica launched pilot programs in late March 2014 to implement SDN across its network, working with vendors, including Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , Infinera Corp. (Nasdaq: INFN), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) (See Telefónica Looks to SDN for Network Flexibility.)

The carrier said in May it was building an NFV reference platform and lab in conjunction with Red Hat Inc. (NYSE: RHT) and Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC). (See Telefónica Building NFV Reference Platform With Red Hat & Intel.)

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to [email protected]

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