What’s up with… Vodafone, Equinix, Orange Business Services, Azure

  • Vodafone to evaluate suppliers on green, inclusivity commitments
  • Equinix strikes deals with Rakuten Mobile, Nokia
  • Orange Business Services joins Microsoft Azure MSP Program

Vodafone’s efforts to be a more socially and environmentally responsible company and some key Equinix relationships lead the way in this lengthy line-up of notable news items.

As part of its broader commitments to be a more responsible and environmentally-friendly company, Vodafone says it will “evaluate suppliers on their commitments to diversity, inclusion and the environment when they tender for new work, ensuring that Vodafone’s supply chain contributes towards Vodafone’s purpose to improve the lives of 1 billion people, while halving its environmental impact by 2025.” The international operator says 20% of its supplier selection criteria is now based on commitments to diversity and the environment. Check out this announcement for more details. 

Still with Vodafone… the operator’s IoT team has developed a prototype system that enables manufacturers to notify consumers of recalled, faulty or potentially dangerous electrical goods (such as tumble dryers, washing machines, fridges and freezers) and even shut them down remotely if needed. To find out more, see this announcement.

Global data centre and interconnection hub operator Equinix is having quite a week. A couple of days ago it announced an expanded collaboration with one of the SD-WAN market’s big hitters, VMware, to host its SD-WAN Edge virtual network function (VNF) on its Network Edge platform and now it has announced key relationships with two of the telecoms world’s best known names. For Rakuten Mobile, the disruptive Japanese mobile operator that’s about to launch 5G services using an Open RAN network, Equinix has agreed to act as the cloud platform that will host and deliver the Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP), which, once launched, will aim to provide multiple, cloud native mobile network functions to enterprises and network operators seeking to build an open, alternative network architecture. Equinix will begin its RCP relationship in Singapore and Los Angeles, with further locations across the US, EMEA and Asia to follow. To find out more about the Equinix relationship with Rakuten, read this announcement. For Nokia, Equinix will become a strategic supplier of distributed edge platform services for the Finnish vendor giant’s Worldwide IoT Network Grid (WING) managed service, which aims to offer CSPs the opportunity to offer IoT services in markets where they have no existing operations. Read more.

Orange Business Services (OBS) is the latest major operator to join the Microsoft Azure Networking Managed Service Provider (MSP) Program, which enables OBS to combine “a full set of cloud and hybrid networking services from Azure’s extensive portfolio” with its connectivity services. “Becoming an Azure Networking MSP enables Orange to develop managed services within the Azure network… [and] offer end-to-end management of ExpressRoute and Azure Virtual WAN services. This reinforces the value proposition of Flexible SD-WAN for multicloud connectivity and application visibility end to end,” noted François Rall, head of partnerships and new services in the Connectivity Business Unit at OBS, in this blog. Other carrier members of the program include BTDeutsche Telekom and Tata Communications.

Alternative wholesale FTTx network operator CityFibre continues to expand and make a noise in the UK broadband market. Earlier this week it announced it has selected project management and engineering firm Bechtel to help it accelerate its network rollout, which will be boosted in the coming months by the award of multiple network construction contracts worth up to £1.5 billion. It has also given an update on its £40 million rollout in Aberdeen, where it has started fibre network rollout in new parts of the Scottish city, where Vodafone is CityFibre’s launch ISP partner. 

Talking of UK broadband developments… BT Wholesale has launched a FTTP (fibre to the premises) service for retail ISPs. “As the UK prepares for the withdrawal of the analogue PSTN network in 2025 and begins to migrate towards fully digitised networks, businesses need future-proofed connectivity solutions that support their digital transformation journeys and their demand for greater bandwidth and speed,” stated Paul Beacham, Senior Manager at BT Wholesale. “BT is at the forefront of this technology shift, bringing the market-leading Ethernet FTTP solution to the Wholesale market to join our full range of all-IP access solutions available.”

And still in Britland… Mobile operator Three UK has struck a £100m infrastructure investment agreement with SSE Enterprise Telecoms to “enhance connectivity and deliver the UK’s fastest 5G network across hundreds of towns and cities.” See this announcement for more details.

IoT network operator Senet has raised $16 million in a funding round led by Fisk Ventures. The company says the money will be used to expand its LoRaWAN network across the US and “expand global business development and co-marketing activities with network operators, tower companies and radio access network (RAN) providers.” For more details, see this press release

Amdocs Media unit Vubiquity has landed a multi-year content services deal with Liberty Global.  The agreement, which builds on an existing contract with Virgin Media in the UK, will see Vubiquity, which has relationships with more than 1,400 content owners, provide content services to Liberty Global operations and the cable operator’s affiliates across Europe. 

Swedish CDN technology specialist Edgeware says its recently-launched cloud-based elastic CDN solution “now allows high-quality video streaming applications over mobile access infrastructures, such as 4G and 5G.” The elastic CDN, says the company, “is designed to be deployed in a Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) environment as a virtualized software instance, running in a data centre with separated control and data planes.” Sounds like a job for ‘the edge’… For more details, see this announcement.

- The staff, TelecomTV

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