Ericsson and Telefonica have announced that they will continue working together to transform the operator's global networks, extending an agreement originally made in 2013 and executing on the results that it provided.
The focus of the partnership is on network transformation, including finishing an ongoing network virtualisation total cost of ownership (TCO) study, and the two companies will also jointly work on an NFV roadmap that will prepare the first migration steps.
These steps include the set-up of a multi-vendor cloud environment to test Ericsson virtualised network functions (VNFs) on top of a cloud infrastructure, including the possibility of using Ericsson VNF Orchestrator.
A key long-term ambition for both companies is also to work together on the operational model definition for virtualisation in telecommunications, IT and B2B.
Enrique Blanco, Global CTO Telefonica, said: "The co-operation that we entered into with Ericsson in 2013 has been very fruitful, and we are excited to continue the great work we have done together and begin to implement some of our findings. At Telefonica, we are convinced that network virtualisation will help to improve TCO efficiency and improve our service agility."
Ulf Ewaldsson, CTO Ericsson, said: "Ericsson is at the forefront of Cloud and NFV technology, and well-placed to assist a global operator such as Telefonica to deliver on its vision and its targets. The cooperation so far has been superb, with both parties gaining valuable experience and insights, which we will now leverage to deliver superior results."
Ericsson and Telefonica signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in 2013 to launch a joint R&D program to explore and understand the challenges and opportunities in network virtualization during the coming decade.
Two areas of particular interest were network functions virtualisation (NFV) and service provider software defined networking (SDN). At the centre of this initiative is the need to build more flexible and cost-efficient solutions, as well as to enable networks as true platforms for innovation.
The two companies said the programme agreed in 2013 has been successfully executed during the past year, with quality deliverables achieved in different categories: the joint study report, a joint industry contribution and successfully-executed proof of concept (POC) including Ericsson Cloud Execution Environment, Ericsson Cloud Manager and virtualised network functions like virtual Evolved Packet Core and virtual Charging System.