Cloud, NFV spell opportunity for telcos: Huawei

Huawei data centre solution CTO Ronald Raffensperger talks telcos and cloud computing

The future of public cloud in Australia is changing as telecommunications players invest in the space according to Huawei data centre solution CTO Ronald Raffensperger.

“Within the telecommunications carrier [industry] everything is changing to be more cloud-like. Everything is becoming virtualized through network function virtualization [NFV] and software-defined networking [SDN],” he said.

The opportunity for telcos is to take clouds that are built internally and use them to provide services to businesses and consumers.

“In Australia, there are a lot of trials going around NFV and SDN by the operators. There are still a lot of challenges for the operators to unify their internal organisations to take advantage of this,” said Raffensperger.

“There is the challenge around how you ensure you are getting a rate of return on your investment and the new kind of services you can offer.”

In August last year, Vodafone outlined a new that will also include adoption of NFV in the core network to provide greater network flexibility and reduce costs.

At the time, Ericsson announced that it would also support the deployment of NFV and SDN for Telstra.

Raffensperger said the transition being undertaken by telecommunications players in Australia is similar to what is happening in Western Europe.

“Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom are moving from proof of concepts into trials. The availability of cloud services is starting to pick up. We are seeing a number of customers who are starting to build public cloud capabilities, particularly around targeted industries,” he said.

In Australia, Huawei works with ISPs such as iiNet that are building public clouds.

Turning to data centres, he said the vendor has no plans to build data centres outside of China.

“Our core competence is around building things that are inside of networks or clouds. In most countries, operators have the knowledge to create good cloud-based services. In China, we have found the operators are not quite as skilled,” said Raffensperger.

In May, Huawei announced a ROADS strategy which affects its view of future networks.

For example, the vendor envisages solutions that support both private and public cloud across one architecture, allowing migration across public and private clouds.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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