Vodafone, VMware ink enterprise licensing agreement

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Vodafone Group has signed a software licensing agreement with VMware that will enable it to access a range of the technology giant's solutions.

Vodafone Group is one of the world's largest telecommunications companies and provides a range of services including voice, messaging, data and fixed communications. It has mobile operations in 26 countries, partners with mobile networks in 49 more, and it has fixed broadband operations in 19 markets.

Part of the agreement will see VMware being one of the vendors to support the operator's global rollout of network functions virtualisation (NFV) to accelerate the delivery of future products and services.

Software-defined virtualised platforms and services are an integral part of service providers future plans as they evolve their mobile networks towards the introduction of 5G in around 2020, said VMware.

Vodafone will deploy VMware vCloud NFV as part of its group-wide transformation programme, making use of NFV and software-defined networking technologies across applications and networks. The telco will also receive Carrier-Grade Support, a new VMware offering to support the implementation of new software.

Fran Heeran, Vodafone Group's head of Network Virtualisation, says virtualised cloud-native network functions are a crucial element of its group-wide programme as the telco transforms how it builds, operates and evolves its networks and services.

"Reducing the time and cost to deploy and operate services, utilising automation and convergence in standardised cloud environments for our network and IT businesses is a critical part of our technology and operational transformation strategy."

VMware vCloud NFV will give Vodafone an ETSI-compliant, modular, multi-tenant NFV platform that supports choice in virtual infrastructure managers. The platform combines a highly available, carrier-grade NFV infrastructure with Day 2 operations management and service assurance capabilities. Day 2 operations refers to a feature that is used later in the life-cycle of the managed object.

The solution allows customers to roll out multiple applications on a common NFV infrastructure, as opposed to building new platforms for each service, says VMware.

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