Vodafone completes VMware rollout and announces smartphone-based “virtual supercomputer” project

Source: Piotr Swat / Shutterstock.com

Source: Piotr Swat / Shutterstock.com

  • Vodafone completes its VMware-based single digital network architecture across Europe 
  • Claims cost of its core network functions has been reduced by half. 
  • Has also teamed up with  Imperial College London with DreamLab smartphone app to aid Covid-19 research

Vodafone has managed to pair a network rollout story and an obligatory coronavirus good works angle with the announcement today that the group has completed its network virtual infrastructure (NVI) across all of its European business and 21 markets in total.

With the completion of an upgrade in Albania, Vodafone says it now has a single digital network architecture across its European markets, enabling the operator to design, build, test and deploy next generation functions more securely and around 40 percent more quickly. It claims infrastructure automation is up and  the manual intervention required to operate and maintain the networks is down 

The digital deployment is largely based on VMware’s telco cloud infrastructure which has been deployed by Vodafone at more than 57 sites across Europe and 25 in its Africa, Asia and Oceania markets. The cloud-based infrastructure supports voice core, data core and service platforms on over 900 virtual network functions. Almost 50 percent of Vodafone’s core network nodes providing voice and data services are run on VMware’s NVI platform, vCloud NFV.

“Operating a reliable, agile network that can be more efficiently upgraded to maintain the quality of coverage has never been more important as Vodafone customers across Europe rely on the operator to provide critical connectivity and communications services during the COVID-19 crisis,” it claims. Vodafone also points out that the cost of its core network functions has been reduced by half. 

 In other news it’s announced that the Vodafone Foundation has teamed up with  Imperial College London to use its DreamLab smartphone app to aid Covid-19 research.

It says DreamLab uses the collective computing power of smartphones to analyse complex data while their owners sleep, helping scientists identify existing drugs and food-based molecules to speed up research into effective treatments for Covid-19. 

The DreamLab app was developed by the Vodafone Foundation and launched in 2017 to facilitate cancer research.  

Vodafone says that to get involved, all people need do is download the DreamLab app and activate it every night whilst they sleep and charge their phones.  This collective processing power creates a ‘virtual supercomputer’, capable of processing millions of calculations. Scientists from Imperial College London believe if 100,000 DreamLab users power the app for 6 hours every night for three months they can complete vital research that would take Imperial’s supercomputers a year to process*.

The AI-based  project trawls through data to identify existing drugs and food molecules that could benefit those with the infectious disease.   

Once the research is complete, it will be made available to the medical profession to facilitate clinical trials. In addition, any food-related findings will be translated into dietary advice that can be implemented by the medical community for patients recovering from Covid-19.

To download the app, search for DreamLab in the App store for iOS or Play Store for Android, Vodafone customers can activate DreamLab for free using either mobile data or Wifi connectivity.  Those on other networks will be asked how much data they would like to donate to power the app, or can connect via Wi-Fi.



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