Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) aims to increase its network agility, reduce opex and capex, deploy services faster, and improve customer experience by virtualising its core and IP network.
Ericsson and Cisco will work together to deliver the project, which also marks the first major collaboration between the two on telecom Cloud infrastructure. Ericsson and Cisco recently reaffirmed their year-old strategic partnership announced in November 2015 to work together and pass on business leads to each other.
The two companies will transform and virtualise VHA's networks to better prepare for new emerging services and to evolve its core network to increase the level of agility and programmability from network slicing. Network slicing is a key feature being proposed for 5G, but it requires network virtualisation.
Through simplification of its network and infrastructure, VHA will benefit from having the tools to become more agile, innovative and more pro-active in the way services are brought to market, ultimately resulting in improved customer engagement experience alongside reductions in opex and capex spend.
The joint architecture solution comprises of Ericsson Hyperscale Datacenter System and software components such as Ericsson Cloud Execution Environment, Ericsson Cloud Manager, Cloud SDN controller.
The Cisco contribution includes Cisco WAN Automation Engine, Cisco Network Services Orchestrator (NSO), Cisco IP Network VNFs (including IOS XR 9000v and Cloud Services Router 1000v), and both virtualised and physical security technologies such as the Adaptive Security Appliance and Cisco Firepower security gateway, along with services and support.
The solution builds on VHA's selection, in 2014, of Ericsson to replace and upgrade the operator's complete core network, including virtual EPC and virtual IMS/Voice over LTE.
Kevin Millroy, chief technology officer, VHA, said: "Ericsson and Cisco are our existing providers of core and routing functions making them good partners to move into a virtualised environment. This transformation allows us to introduce new applications to drive innovation and improve customer services and user experience.
“The new infrastructure opens the door to new business models and markets, such as Internet of Things for Vodafone - we are excited about the future prospects this partnership offers."
Rima Qureshi, Head of Region North America and responsible for the strategic partnership with Cisco at Ericsson, said: "This major transformation deal clearly demonstrates Ericsson's global end-to-end transformation and operations capabilities as a trusted transformation partner.
“As the first collaboration between Ericsson and Cisco on Telecom Cloud infrastructure, it also shows how our global partnership is speeding digital transformation for customers across industries.
"As the prime integrator, Ericsson is taking responsibility for integration of the Ericsson and Cisco, not only building the infrastructure, but ensuring the delivery of an end-to-end operational system."
Yvette Kanouff senior vice president, general manager, service provider business, Cisco, said: "Cisco and Ericsson have been working with key strategic accounts around the globe to validate a telecom cloud infrastructure.
“This broad and significant engagement with VHA demonstrates how our two companies are utilising our complementary assets to deliver technical and commercial innovation and systems integration leadership to the benefit of our customers."
The Ericsson/Cisco partnership is designed to offer customers the best of both companies: routing, data centre, networking, cloud, mobility, management and control, and global services capabilities.
To date, over 250 active customer engagements have now started to turn into won deals, Ericsson reported. More than 60 deals, spread around the world, are in IP (routing and transport) and services. The companies announced deals with 3 Italy, Vodafone Portugal, Aster Dominican Republic and Cable & Wireless in Caribbean in 2016.