This is an era where people expect everything to happen instantaneously and we share the ambition to deliver services to our customers as soon as they need it.
Two years ago we launched the Digital Vodafone programme to simplify and automate more of our network and IT systems and that is now having a positive effect across our business, transforming everything from network availability, to customer service, to the experience of buying products in our stores.
The latest trials by our transport networks team will have positive implications for both our consumer and business customers.
The transport network carries traffic – calls and data – back from cell sites to our core network for processing. It is the workhorse of our network operations.
We have become the first operator in the world to successfully test full automation of our transport connectivity services.
In a multi-location lab testing environment, Vodafone engineers successfully integrated the technology that orchestrates network traffic with software defined networking (SDN). This created the template for a single architecture for our transport networks that will enable them to be configured automatically, rather than manually by engineers, in future.
The key elements of the testing were Netcracker’s Domain Orchestrator, Sedona’s Netfusion SDN hierarchical controller, and Huawei’s NCE-T optical area controllers and network elements.
Our technical achievements included:
- catalogue-driven, intent-based service provisioning, automating the design and management of connectivity services;
- use of industry standard open application programming interfaces (APIs) between network and business systems; and
- creating a platform to abstract and expose complex network capabilities to Vodafone’s business and consumer customers.
We are a step closer to allowing business customers to be able to near instantly increase the amount of bandwidth in their network, or connect to a new office or work site.
As we enter the 5G era we will also be more agile in making changes to our networks, enabling us to bring new promotions and services for consumer customers to market much faster.
The trials our engineers are undertaking often go unsung but they will have very significant impacts on making Vodafone the digital market leader of the future, able to offer our customers the best experience in all our global markets.