& cplSiteName &

Orange Moves to 'Industrial' NFV Phase, Will Start in Spain

Iain Morris

THE HAGUE -- SDN NFV World Congress -- Orange has finished defining its "target architecture" for more virtualized and software-based networks and will embark on a rollout in Spain in the next few months.

The French operator, which maintains networks in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, has already carried out some virtualization trials and since last year has been offering on-demand services based on virtualization technology to some of its enterprise customers, under the EasyGo brand. (See Orange Kicks Off 'Universal CPE' Trials and Orange Plots Mass Network-as-a-Service Rollout.)

But Orange (NYSE: FTE) says it has now taken a firm decision on the suppliers and technologies it wants to use across its entire footprint and will start work on an "industrial mode" rollout imminently.

"The first step was to define -- the next is to deploy across all our affiliates, starting in Europe but going soon also into the EMEA [Europe, the Middle East and Africa] zone," said Emmanuel Bidet, the vice president of convergent networks control for Orange, during a keynote presentation at today's SDN NFV World Congress in The Hague.

Building on its experiences with EasyGo and during other trials, Orange says the multinational deployment will rely on Red Hat Inc. (NYSE: RHT) for OpenStack deployment, the Contrail solution from Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) for the SDN controller and hardware provided by Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Dell Networking .

Bidet says Orange is confident that with this setup it will be able to onboard virtual network functions (VNFs) from a variety of different vendors.

"We are now going to deploy this target infrastructure and the first country we will start in will be Spain," said Bidet.

Orange already has a point of presence (PoP) in Europe that supports its target architecture but will add another one next year under its latest deployment plans. It is also now working on the sourcing of VNFs and aims to introduce a virtual evolved packet core (vEPC) function into its network in the coming months. "We launched an RFP [request for proposals] earlier this year and will make a decision before the end of the year," said Bidet.

The French operator has prioritized the virtualization of the EPC function largely because of traffic demands on its network, but also reckons this could help to support very specific needs, such as providing service improvements in particular hotspots.

Bidet said EasyGo would get new features under the latest program and be extended into additional markets. Having so far been aimed at large enterprise customers, EasyGo will also be made available to small and medium-sized enterprises.

For more NFV-related coverage and insights, check out our dedicated NFV content channel here on Light Reading.

From an internal perspective, Orange has been centralizing some of its operations and now maintains just one network operations center (or NOC) for all of its European markets besides France. Another NOC caters to all of its markets in the Middle East and Africa, said Bidet.

He also highlighted the importance of open source technology to Orange's broader transformation efforts. "Open source can help the ecosystem to migrate and with interoperability," he explained.

Orange appears to have taken a proactive role in OPNFV, an open source NFV infrastructure initiative, and is also one of the main players in ONAP, a management and network orchestration (MANO) effort led by AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T).

ONAP faces competition from another MANO initiative called Open Source MANO (OSM), which is sponsored by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and counts Telefónica and BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) as operator members.

Industry concern is growing that ONAP and OSM may fail to reach agreement on common information models, making it harder for developers to write the code that allows one company's systems to be used alongside or in place of another's.

— Iain Morris, News Editor, Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
User Rank: Blogger
10/12/2017 | 7:48:47 PM
Easy come, easy go? I'm surprised Stelios Haji-Ioannou hasn't unleashed his lawyers.
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading founder Steve Saunders grills Cisco's Roland Acra on how he's bringing automation to life inside the data center.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
February 26-28, 2018, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA
March 20-22, 2018, Denver Marriott Tech Center
April 4, 2018, The Westin Dallas Downtown, Dallas
May 14-17, 2018, Austin Convention Center
All Upcoming Live Events
SmartNICs aren't just about achieving scale. They also have a major impact in reducing CAPEX and OPEX requirements.
Hot Topics
Project AirGig Goes Down to Georgia
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 12/13/2017
Verizon's New Fios TV Is No More
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 12/12/2017
Ericsson & Samsung to Supply Verizon With Fixed 5G Gear
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 12/11/2017
Cloudy With a Chance of Automation: Telecom in 2018
Iain Morris, News Editor, 12/12/2017
FCC Ends Net Neutrality
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 12/14/2017
Animals with Phones
Don't Fall Asleep on the Job! Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed