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Blue Planet picked as Vodafone's transport domain orchestrator

News

The operator says the transport domain orchestrator (TDO) is an important step in Vodafone’s evolving network strategy.

Vodafone UK's converged core network is Redstream brings together the fixed and mobile converged network, plus voice and data networks and solutions on one platform.

Ultimately it will be SDN-enabled so the network is automated, programmable and scalable on-demand, in a capital efficient way, making it sufficiently flexible and secure to introduce new services like network slicing.

Enter orchestrator

Blue Planet is part of Ciena, and its software is vendor- and technology-agnostic, and can communicate with the underlying IP and optical transmission components of the transport network. This means it can support both traditional and consumption-based connectivity services.

In a statement, Vodafone said the software will enable it to automate multiple processes and services for enterprise customers and developers. Telecoms networks are complex, and the TDO's job is to ensure that business customers and developers can embed connectivity and new APIs into end-user services and platforms, without an in-depth understanding of how the telco's networks and services are built and managed.
 
The TDO allows Vodafone to create an automated network platform with the Blue Planet software helping to automate the provision and activation of on-demand connectivity services across Vodafone UK’s multi-layer transport network. 

The intention is to reduce complexity, and increase operational and business agility, such as setting up a 5G network slice at the click of a button or integrating new APIs. From the enterprise side, customers could directly leverage capabilities to scale bandwidth on-demand.

First steps

The TDO is the first step towards this end-to-end automation, allowing Vodafone to exploit new innovative use cases which are not possible relying on manual intervention.
 
Andrea Dona, Chief Network Officer, Vodafone UK, commented, “The Redstream Evolution project is a critical element of our long-term strategy to offer simplified connectivity services. The digital economy of tomorrow will partly be defined by how accessible we make connectivity, with a simplified service layer platform sitting in front of the complex telecommunications network.
 
“By integrating the Blue Planet TDO…We will also be able to introduce new flexible pricing models. With a platform layer on top of the network, new ideas do not have to be built from the foundations of the network up, potentially opening the door for new innovators and collaborators.
 
“The big picture strategy is to make connectivity more accessible to more people, but this vision does not work without a network that is flexible, adaptable and standardised, as well as edge-based and SDN-enabled.”
 
Rick Hamilton, Senior Vice President of Blue Planet, a division of Ciena, said, "Implementing a Network-as-a-Platform approach enables Vodafone UK to fast-track its infrastructure for more 5G opportunities.”
 
The Redstream network is fully converged and the current phase is to enable Vodafone to offer more services toward the edge of the network to gain  low latency.