5G and 6G Telco Cloud

Telco 5G Takes Center Stage: News, Customer Commentary, and Analyst Remarks from VMworld 2020

The Telco industry has seen a tremendous amount of progress over the last few years, and this year has been no exception. From releasing the Telco Cloud Platform, to bringing cloud agility to the RAN, VMware is enabling the digital transformation of communications service providers (CSPs) around the world. The Telco/5G track at VMworld 2020 explored the important themes that are impacting CSPs the most. Together with our customers, we discussed software defined IT datacenters, unified multi-cloud networks, and monetization of enterprise services.

In a recent report, 451 Research outlined how VMware is positioned to become a leader in 5G. The report reviews the strengths and opportunities showcased at VMworld and what CSPs can utilize in their digital transformation with VMware moving forward:

  • “VMware’s core cloudification and go-to- market assets line up well with the complex market forces facing telecom operators as they move to disaggregated networks, edge computing and 5G. The company has parlayed incumbency in IT to penetrate core networks in many accounts.”
  • “VMware is smart to introduce the idea of packaging its core SD-WAN and security assets into its telco cloud proposition. Monetization is perhaps the most important challenge that must be overcome for ROI of 5G/edge platforms in B2B.”

Beyond 451 Research, other analysts have commented on VMware solutions:

  • IDC: “VMware is positioned as one of the leading go-to partners for service providers and enterprise virtualization needs. The company is well positioned in the emerging market for telco cloud operations (private and public cloud), both from an infrastructure and orchestration/automation standpoint.” (source)
  • Analysys Mason: “CSPs need a new digital operations model powered by a network and service automation platform, to abstract complexity and automate the lifecycle of multi-cloud networks and digital services in the 5G era. The VMware Telco Cloud Platform solution is positioned to take advantage of this fast-growing market.” (source)

It goes without saying that 5G remains a priority for service providers and hence was a key theme at VMworld. VMware’s CEO, Pat Gelsinger, noted at VMworld that VMware Telco Cloud Platform is becoming the operating system of 5G. With a horizontal automated platform, service providers have the opportunity to monetize 5G – the flexible foundation enables agile service innovation across and end-to-end network with intrinsic security. In addition to the multi-cloud expertise required to build this foundation, VMware has deep enterprise roots which can help drive 5G success through monetization. Going beyond carrier grade performance and 5G speeds, VMware enables personalization through context-aware services and dedicated network slices.

The VMware Telco Cloud Platform released leading into the show was created to support 5G deployments which will be more distributed, more decoupled, with more technology vendors.

Progressing through their digital transformations, service providers are moving to cloud native architectures to fully embrace a cloud-first approach. At the show, results were shared for data plane pod performance – single side-by-side comparison showed CNF on VMware Telco Cloud Platform performs as well as a VM. ACG reviewed the economics for VMware Telco Cloud Platform which automates cloud-native application onboarding, provisioning and life cycle management – models yields include 18% increased services revenues, 33% OPEX avoidance, and 19% CAPEX avoidance.

Another hot-button topic at VMworld 2020 was O-RAN. Several VMware customers took the stage to highlight their projects to open up the RAN – bringing cloud agility to their RAN networks is helping them make 5G a reality. Because 5G pulls applications closer to the customer, it will require more RAN sites that will be mostly virtualized. By transitioning from a traditional, purpose-built RAN to vRAN and ultimately O-RAN, CSPs will be able to create programmable, open interfaces which allow the RAN to be unified with the rest of the network. Intel took the stage on this topic where they announced a collaboration on an integrated software platform for vRAN to accelerate the rollout of both existing LTE and future 5G networks.

Other topics in the show included unified network intelligence and management where a case study was shared that explained that a customer with 1M+ devices under management leveraged VMware Telco Cloud Operations saved $12M in development costs. Several partners from VMware’s robust partner ecosystem also took the stage including Accenture to announce a new pre-integrated solution including Accenture’s Cloud Native Box and VMware’s Telco Cloud Platform. This solution will accelerate end-to-end brownfield and green field cloud-native deployments.

We weren’t the only ones who noticed all the valuable conversations at VMworld. Here is just a sample of some of the amazing feedback we received from the press:

  • Protocol: “What I’d say is generally most customers are running some [cloud workloads], most customers plan to run more going forward, and I’ve said I expect this to get to 50/50, or a little bit more than 50% of the workloads running in the cloud. I’ve called it the three laws of the hybrid cloud: the laws of physics, the laws of economics and laws of the land…. The third is what I call the laws of physics, where we expect … 5G and edge computing to bring a burst of infrastructure at the edge.”
  • Light Reading: “Rouanne made his comments at the virtual VMworld trade show, hosted by VMware. Dish announced recently that its 5G network functions will run inside of the VMware Telco Cloud via a new multi-year agreement between the two companies. Dish officials explained that the move will allow the company to shift its computing needs across public and private clouds, as necessary, while maintaining a cohesive and unified software operation running on top of VMware’s platform. VMware will also act as Dish’s software gatekeeper, approving the software from other vendors that will run inside of Dish’s network.”
  • SDxCentral: “VMware recently repackaged various technologies for mobile network operators as the 5G Telco Cloud Platform. This included updated versions and more integrated support for VMware’s cloud-native software stack and network automation services. ‘VMware is providing us a very large set of software capabilities — all the way from the low-level capabilities to hypervisor, networking, and storage capabilities — but all the way to the automation and Kubernetes orchestration and the network function orchestration, so it’s a full stack that we are going to consume based on our requirements,’ Rouanne said.”

As the industry advances, VMware will continue to partner with our customers and telco ecosystem to help shape the future of communications.

To see how VMware enabling successful digital transformations for our service provider customers read this case study e-book 

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One comment has been added so far

  1. Excellent summary Karenna. May I add that the Uhana acquisition and how it may help with AI enabled 5G RAN optimization is very encouraging.


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