Telstra taps Ericsson, Ciena for SDN, NFV

Fiona Chau

Telstra said that it is working with Ericsson to introduce software defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) into the telco’s network.

The partnership comes as part of a renewed deal with Ericsson, which will continue as the telco’s optical networking provider supplying its optical gear and services as well as Ciena packet-optical platforms.

"We want to have one of the world's best optical networks and this agreement will provide us with the ability to dynamically move and shape transport capacity with the flexibility and scalability to streamline our network operations,” David Robertson, Telstra’s director transport and routing, engineering, said. “This will help us ensure a consistent satisfactory customer experience, despite the demands for high traffic across different parts of the transport network.”

Telstra said the implementation of SDN and NFV functionality “will form an essential path to deliver flexible and scalable control networks.

"The continued improvement of Telstra's optical technology will increase bandwidth capacity and also lower latency which is of growing importance as more and more operations move to the cloud," Robertson added.

The move, which is the telco’s latest attempts to support more cloud and digital services, will allow Telstra to more effectively compete in the enterprise cloud services space against the likes of Google and Amazon. Last week, Telstra announced plans to acquire the Silicon Valley-based video streaming and analytics specialists Ooyala in a deal worth $270 million, in a bid to broaden its digital service offerings.

The move also follows a general trend by telcos worldwide towards virtualizing portions of their networks using SDN and NFV technology.

China Unicom and Huawei have previously signed a strategic cooperation agreement on SDN joint innovation.

Håkan Eriksson, head of Ericsson Australia and New Zealand commented: "We have worked with Telstra over a number of years to pilot the latest cloud networking technologies incorporating SDN and NFV. The new agreement with Telstra ensures that we can begin to introduce this functionality into the Telstra transport network throughout Australia."

Earlier this year Ericsson signed a strategic agreement with Ciena, which enables Ericsson to sell Ciena’s Converged Packet Optical portfolio, including the 6500 Packet-Optical Platform and 5400 family. The two also agreed to develop joint transport  solutions for IP-optical convergence and SDN.

This new agreement with Telstra is one of the first customer wins based on the Ericsson-Ciena partnership.



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