BT announces Network Cloud deal with Juniper Networks

Ian Scales
By Ian Scales

Jun 3, 2019

BT's Neil McRae: determined to "hit the ground running" with Network Cloud

BT's Neil McRae: determined to "hit the ground running" with Network Cloud

  • BT to create converged services involving 4 and 5G cellular, Wi-Fi and fixed
  • Juniper offered a proven solution immediately, so BT could “hit the ground running”

BT has made an important technology partnership announcement, anointing Juniper Networks to deliver its Network Cloud infrastructure initiative. BT says the decision will enable a more flexible, virtualized network infrastructure that can deliver the technology requirements of various lines of business for BT from a single platform.

When it comes to delivering broadband services, BT has for some time been focussed on building a single platform capable of delivering its services across multiple broadband types.  BT says it aims to use the platform being provided by Juniper to create converged services involving 4 and 5G cellular, Wi-Fi and fixed and it says it will be able to combine a range of currently discrete network functions and share them across the organisation - both throughout the UK and globally.

The move appears to be an important step forward for BT.

Talking to Martyn Warwick early last year, BT’s Chief Network Architect, Neil McRae, focused on the necessity to get to market quickly “without feeling that you’re knife and forking stuff through the IT system,” he said. McRae said he always wanted to work with partners focused on keeping things simple and moving fast.

“In the old days you developed something which works and you standardised it. Nowadays it seems like you spend forever thing to standardise and then when you finally launch it’s too late.”

That approach, with its focus on agility and speed to market seems to have informed  BT’s procurement process with Juniper.

According to McRae, BT chose “Juniper to be our trusted partner to underpin this Network Cloud infrastructure based on the ability to deliver a proven solution immediately, so we can hit the ground running. Being able to integrate seamlessly with other partners and solutions and aligning with our roadmap to an automated and programmable network is also important.”

Building to a common framework means being able to deliver a range of services: voice, mobile core and radio/access, global services, ISP, TV and IT services, BT claims, as well as many internal applications, thereby cutting operational expenditure and significantly simplifying operations throughout the organization.

BT is also investing in a range of Juniper solutions to manage the network: dynamic end-to-end networking policy and control; Cloud operations management using AppFormix and highly scalable and flexible spine and leaf underlay fabric using the QFX Series.

Obviously Juniper is pretty pleased about the deal. According to  Bikash Koley, Chief Technology Officer at Juniper Networks, BT is a “shining example of how to evolve networks to become more agile. By leveraging the ‘beach-front property’ it has in central offices around the globe, BT can optimize the business value that 5G’s bandwidth and connectivity brings. The move to an integrated telco cloud platform brings always-on reliability, along with enhanced automation capabilities to help improve business continuity and increase time-to-market while doing so in a cost-effective manner.”

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