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Etisalat pushes to “cloudify the network” with new consortium

Etisalat has announced its plans to work with a consortium of global technology leaders to introduce a new vendor agnostic platform that will aim to provide cloud telecom infrastructure to host emerging futuristic technologies and services.etisalat

According to the telco, the formation of the group is in line with the its corporate-wide programme launched to ‘cloudify the network’-dubbed ‘Sahaab’-an Arabic word that translates to cloud. The programme is focused on deploying the right mix of hardware-centric telecom services and software-centric cloud services.

Esmaeel Hammadi, SVP, Network Development, Etisalat, said, “Today’s announcement is of strategic importance as this platform will be a pillar for Etisalat’s long-term strategy of driving digital technologies to empower our services and build the infrastructure to incorporate emerging technologies.”

The consortium consists of NEC as the prime overall integrator, Netcracker, Redhat, Juniper and Dell who will collaborate with Etisalat to deploy and rollout the second generation of NFV (Network Function Virtualisation)/ SDN (Software Defined Networking). These two closely related technologies are commonly associated with the enablement of smart cities, IoT and the upcoming 5G future.

“As we transition into the digital future, it is essential to invest and implement the state-of-art methodologies in cloud computing by engaging with global leaders,” said Hammadi. “This will ensure services on our network are agile and provide the best performance for major projects like Expo 2020, World Government Summit, AFC Asia Cup among others.”

The infrastructure will be built against the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) industry leading architecture. The latest technologies will be deployed to provide the maximum performance, agility, elasticity, and efficient operations. These technologies include Network Function Virtualisation Orchestrator (NFVO) from Netcracker, Software Defined Networking (SDN) controller from Juniper-Contrail, Virtual Infrastructure Manager (VIM) from RedHat-Openstack, and a set of automation and operations tools like Ansible, Zappix, git-lab, ELK, and Bacula.

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