Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Analysys Mason evaluates Telefónica's UNICA NFV/SDN

Telefonica, serving around 346 million accesses in 21 countries, announced that Analysys Mason, the global consultancy and research firm, has released a white paper commissioned by Telefónica that evaluates progress in implementing its Telco Cloud program, which includes UNICA, the foundational architecture designed to support future networks based on network function virtualisation and software-defined networking (NFV/SDN) technologies.

Telefonica noted that the paper covers its progress with the telco cloud initiative from its launch as an innovation project through to its current status with live deployments in Germany, Argentina, Colombia and Peru. Telefonica launched its UNICA program around four years ago.

The Analysys Mason study identifies Telefónica as amongst the first operator to see the potential of incorporating cloud technologies, general-purpose hardware and a programmable network control plane into its network architecture. Telefónica envisages eventually implementing a network that is fully virtualised and programmable that will enable it to efficiently and flexibly align capacity with demand, reduce network complexity and speed new services delivery.

The Analysys Mason study finds that Telefonica's UNICA platform features a well-founded architecture that does not compromise on the original ETSI NFV principles, specifically: independence from vendor-lock-in at all layers of the architecture; the use of commodity and, where possible, open-source, cloud technologies; and encouraging market innovation through sponsorship of open-source communities.

However, the research firm concludes that Telefónica faces two key challenges in implementing a program as large and advanced as UNICA - technology challenges associated with market immaturity and challenges around the organisational, cultural and process transformations needed to implement UNICA at scale.

To address these challenges, Analysys Mason recommends that Telefónica increase dialogue with business stakeholders to demonstrate the potential of UNICA and that it prioritise internal operational and organisational transformations to prepare its operating businesses from a technology perspective to effectively use the UNICA infrastructure.

The full Analysys Mason study, Telefónica's UNICA architecture strategy for network virtualisation, can be downloaded here:


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