Orange Egypt picks Red Hat to build its horizontal cloud platform

Red Hat, Inc., a global provider of open source solutions, has announced that Red Hat’s open hybrid cloud technologies are providing a horizontal cloud platform for Orange Egypt’s virtual network functions (VNFs), helping the service provider to more quickly deliver new services to customers, optimize its network investments and reduce operational expenditure.

Building on the foundation of Red Hat OpenStack Platform and Red Hat Ceph Storage, Orange Egypt is the first Orange affiliate to manage 100% of its live customer traffic over a fully software-based platform spanning several sites across its region.

To maintain its position as Egypt’s leading mobile operator, Orange Egypt wanted to use the latest in hybrid cloud and network functions virtualization (NFV) innovation to be able to respond in real-time to market dynamics and network conditions to best serve its more than 30 million customers.

“We decided to lead the way in digital services innovation and provide outstanding customer experience. Open source is powering the development of next-generation cloud-native platforms and Red Hat augments this with enhanced security, stability and support, enabling us to create solutions that best fit our customers’ unique needs. With our horizontal telco cloud based on Red Hat technologies, we can act more dynamically to address business challenges and opportunities, and make a greater contribution to the digital development of Egyptian society,” said Ayman Amiri, the chief technology officer at Orange Egypt.

As part of this initiative, Orange Egypt looked to virtualize its mobile packet core, which had been running standalone functions on dedicated appliances.

Accordingly, Orange Egypt set out to move strategically from a centralized evolved packet core (EPC) supplier to a software-defined, distributed architecture on standard hardware, using Red Hat OpenStack Platform supported by Red Hat Ceph Storage. Red Hat Consulting provided certified training courses and professional services to support Orange Egypt’s teams derive greater value from open technologies, tools and methodologies.

In less than a year, Orange Egypt launched vEPC in 12 datacenters across six sites in Cairo and Alexandria. Today, 100% of Orange Egypt’s mobile broadband traffic is served by its virtualized packet core platform.

With its Red Hat-based open cloud, Orange Egypt gains access to an ecosystem of thousands of certified providers. The freedom to choose diverse suppliers as well as a reduced reliance on specialized hardware has helped Orange Egypt to lower its capital expenditure and operational expenses.

“Orange Egypt is on a drive towards network transformation, and Red Hat is helping it meet this goal through a multi-vendor, multi-application network that can make full use of the scale and agility offered by cloud computing. Trusting in Red Hat’s open hybrid cloud technologies as the backbone for its horizontal platform approach, Orange Egypt has gained greater flexibility and freedom to optimize its network performance, expenditure and service delivery for the benefit of its customers,” said Darrell Jordan-Smith, global vice president, vertical industries & accounts, Red Hat.

Red Hat OpenStack Platform is massively-scalable infrastructure with unified automated management, enabling Orange Egypt to launch and adapt services to better fulfil customer demand. With Red Hat Ceph Storage, Orange Egypt has a massively scalable storage solution for its workloads. It has been able to roll out software-defined capacity expansions for its telecom packet core to serve summer hotspots in Alexandria and Northern coastal areas. Orange Egypt was able to make 50% capacity upgrades in only two working days per site, which is nearly 10 times quicker than its traditional process.

With this new deployment, Orange Egypt was also able to deliver new cybersecurity services such as parental controls and malware protection to its consumer and business customers faster than previously possible with its traditional system. The third VNF that Orange Egypt has launched on its platform is mobile data optimization (MDO), enabling transmission control protocol (TCP) acceleration aimed at reducing network latency and improving the user experience.

www.orange.eg

www.redhat.com

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[South Africa] Telkom forces customers to move to the cloud

Telkom is shutting down its ADSL copper network and is ultimately forcing its business customers to move to the cloud. This is part of Telkom’s strategy to migrate customers to a more stable network and similarly-priced products.

Local cloud telecom provider Euphoria Telecom is elated by this announcement but warns customers to take action before the final shutdown as it could leave them without any connection. It believes switching off the copper network will only benefit customers because of the enormous benefits and cost savings associated with cloud.

Unlike traditional business telephone systems that are pure capital expense (Capex), cloud-based systems are 100% tax deductible as an operational expense (Opex). More importantly, with cloud one only pays for what is required at any point in time.

Euphoria Telecom CEO John Woollam says business owners need to realise that traditional telephone systems are costly and inefficient. “With our cloud solution there are no contracts and customers can save up to 50% on their calls. And the system is easy-to-use with more than 200 powerful features including cutting-edge functionality and data rich reporting.”

Modern cloud telephone systems like Euphoria’s offering require no hardware and therefore no onsite support. This means there is no hardware to upgrade in order to take advantage of new features and technologies. Upgrades are provided seamlessly through software changes that happen automatically in the background.

Telephone costs represent one of the largest operational expenses for most businesses, but business owners have a very informal approach to this overhead. In order to optimise this expenditure, management should have the ability to quickly and effectively see cost reporting across the organisation.

Woollam says most companies are still unaware of their operational inefficiencies and this could mean the end for many businesses in today’s tight economy. “Without accurate information, it is nearly impossible for any business to address these inefficiencies and more importantly, to manage expenses.”

“The new version 3 of our Telephone Management System (TMS) is capable of significantly improving business efficiency with its workforce management capabilities. The system empowers businesses to control, manage, automate, personalise and analyse every aspect of a company’s phone system from one central point,” he explains.

Unlike the traditional phone systems that have limited functionality, Euphoria’s innovative cloud-based system offers multi-office coverage with remote extensions and mobile phone integration.

Euphoria provides all the communication features needed to keep business moving forward, from start-ups right through to established multi-franchise operations.

www.telkom.co.za

Ooredoo Algeria deploys Nokia Cloud Mobile Gateway to transform its network for next-generation broadband services

This is a crucial step for the migration of core network elements to the cloud and paves the way for the transformation of the core network to support next generation mobile network technology.

Nokia is helping Ooredoo Algeria take the first step towards next-generation networks and reinforce its technology leadership in the region with the successful deployment of North Africa’s first virtualized Mobile Gateway. This is a crucial step for the migration of core network elements to the cloud and paves the way for the transformation of the core network to support next generation mobile network technology.

The deployment allows Ooredoo Algeria to meet growing data demand in the region, and provide new and innovative services like Internet of Things (IoT), in addition to enhanced broadband to its subscribers. Once deployed, Ooredoo Algeria’s subscribers will be able to enjoy high bandwidth-consuming services, delivering the best possible performance and reliability.

Nokia’s Cloud Mobile Gateway has been installed and placed into commercial service. Nokia will be deploying more gateways in the near future.

Next Generation Core (NGC) is a service-based architecture that calls for the evolution of the core network. Deployment of the Cloud Mobile Gateway is one of the most important steps in this transformation. It will help Ooredoo Algeria deliver a seamless network experience across fixed and wireless access technologies. With the help of the Nokia AirFrame data center solution, Ooredoo Algeria will be able to deliver telco applications that demand low latency.

 “Collaboration with Nokia for this initiative will help us in transforming our networks for next generation mobile broadband services and reinforcing our technology leadership. Nokia’s field-proven, end-to-end solution will enable us to enhance packet core capacity and to start the process of cloudification for telco applications. With this solution, we will be able to support more users, devices and services over wireless and fixed access. We are proud to continue our pioneering technology deployments with the implementation of this first virtualized network application in North Africa. We look forward to working with Nokia for future projects as well.” Mr. Abdullatif Hamad Dafallah, Chief Executive Officer at Ooredoo Algeria, said.

 Pierre Chaume, Head of the North and West Africa Market Unit at Nokia, added that “The consumption of data is increasing across the world and telcos are grappling with ever-increasing demand for capacity. The deployment of the Cloud Mobile Gateway will help Ooredoo Algeria in the evolution of the core network to enable its customers to enjoy high-bandwidth services, delivered with the highest possible performance and reliability.”

www.nokia.com

www.ooredoo.dz

[Kenya] Telkom Launches Cloud-based Voice Services for Enterprise Customers

Telkom has introduced a new cloud-based fixed voice service that will allow SMEs and corporates to outsource for robust and secure cutting-edge technology.

Dubbed “Omniconnect”, the Telkom Hosted PBX service will deliver a world-class end-to-end software and hardware system, powered by global technology company Avaya. Besides making and receiving calls, the service will also offer other features such as conference calls and the ability to integrate with email and the mobile phone.

The subscription-based service will eliminate the need for businesses to make heavy initial capital investment to acquire and maintain the fixed telephone system; nor will they have to host the same on their premises. Businesses can also flexibly upgrade or scale down the service, in line with changing needs and technology trends.

“This solution will free corporates and SMEs to focus on their core businesses, without being bogged down by the cost of acquiring, running and maintaining this system. This is the future of doing business; enabling them to become more efficient in their operations by simplifying their processes and infrastructure.” Telkom Enterprise MD., Kris Senanu, said.

Mr. Senanu added that the service is competitively priced, with respect to on-net and off-net rates, billed per second, guaranteeing substantial cost savings on voice services.

“As we continue to invest in Kenya, one of our key focus areas is enabling customers to do business the way they want. Increasingly that means offering cloud-based solutions, and Telkom is at the forefront of meeting this demand. We’re delighted to expand our partnership with Telkom, which joins the growing number of partners worldwide who are now offering Avaya cloud services. We look forward to bringing even more customer-centric innovations into this important market with Telkom.” Fadi Hani, Vice President – Middle East, Africa and Turkey, Avaya, said.

Mr. Senanu also added: “The service guarantees security and in-call stability. It runs on a secure system, deployed on Telkom’s backbone network, to protect it from direct access through the Internet, and confers an extra layer of security.”  

The Telkom Hosted PBX service, Omniconnect, also delivers an advanced level feature set, including web collaboration and video calling, thus enhancing employee productivity.

The service comes in three offerings: two options for corporates (silver and gold) and one for SMEs. The SME option will offer the customer between five and 20 extensions, and comes with third-party mobile app support, as well as basic phone features (making and receiving calls, holding, transferring, voicemail, and parking/paging). The corporate option, which services a minimum of 20 extensions, provides call recording and ad-hoc video-conferencing on the silver tier. Customers investing in the gold tier will enjoy the same benefits, plus voicemail to email, video calling, web collaboration, Office 365/Outlook integration and conference bridge.

www.telkom.co.ke

Telecom Egypt and Nokia to build cloud infrastructure for IoT rollout in Egypt

Nokia and Telecom Egypt have announced plans to build the first cloud infrastructure in Egypt exclusively for Internet of Things (IoT) services. Telecom Egypt will use Nokia’s Worldwide IoT Network Grid (WING) as a Service as the platform to launch IoT services for the enterprise segment later this year.

Nokia WING enables operators like Telecom Egypt to offer IoT services to enterprises on a global scale. Telecom Egypt will be able to tap into the growing IoT market fast and cost-effectively due to the Nokia WING one-stop model, which includes a worldwide IoT Infrastructure-as-a-Service and pay-as-you-grow business model. WING enables Telecom Egypt to provide global IoT service at almost local prices as opposed to more expensive roaming prices.

As part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU),Nokia and Telecom Egypt will also explore joint marketing initiatives and will work to accelerate the development of an IoT partner ecosystem in the country. A number of IoT use cases drive automation, which will help enterprises cut their operational expenses, enhance productivity and bring new services to market faster.

“We are excited to collaborate with Nokia for this IoT initiative. We have worked with Nokia in the past and we are confident that Nokia WING will enable us to bring world-class IoT use cases to our enterprise customers in Egypt and later in the region.” Adel Hamed, Managing Director & CEO of Telecom Egypt, said. 

 “We are pleased to announce this collaboration with Telecom Egypt to enable next generation of IoT services for Egypt and the African market. Our cloud-native IoT proposition and pay-as-you-grow business model makes it possible for Telecom Egypt to move fast to address the vast IoT market opportunity in Egypt.” Ankur Bhan, Head of WING business at Nokia, added.

www.ir.te.eg

www.nokia.com

MTN, Eseye and AnyNet Federation partner to deliver globally connected IoT cloud solution

Eseye, a global provider of IoT services has announced a partnership with MTN, the leading Africa Mobile Network Operator (MNO) to deliver globally connected IoT cloud solution.

MTN have joined forces with Eseye and the AnyNet Federation, a new association of MNOs established specifically to meet the complex management and enhanced resilience requirements of the rapidly expanding global M2M IoT customer base.

The AnyNet Federation will initially focus on delivering significant global growth of cellular services onto Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud. It aims to make the complex global landscape for IoT easier for AWS customers, by delivering a single cellular M2M solution that can be deployed seamlessly across major world markets.

‘This is a ground-breaking global collaboration. The AnyNet Secure is already the most feature rich and integrated connectivity solution for AWS, and the AnyNet Federation as a key way of delivering simplified connectivity on a global scale, whilst allowing customers buy and manage their connectivity from within AWS”  Nick Earle Eseye Chairman and CEO said:

“MTN is delighted to bring their networks across 12 markets to the support the objectives of the AnyNet Federation. We believe that through collaboration we can speed up the deployment of our customers’ global IoT and enhance their global business opportunities’’ MTN Group Enterprise Executive Oliver Fortuin added.

Using Eseye’s next generation, fully eUICC compliant AnyNet Secure for AWS SIM card, AnyNet Federation member customers will experience “out of the box” connectivity that integrates onto AWS IoT Core and is globally scalable. Cellular traffic destined for AWS is passed between different

AnyNet Federation partners based on the geographic location of IoT devices that are automatically provisioned and certified over-the-air. Regardless of which AnyNet Federation partner is delivering the data, the customer is billed through their account by AWS, and the MNO is paid for the services it delivers.

The launch of the AnyNet Federation and its initial AWS market focus comes as Gartner forecast the Worldwide Public Cloud Services Market will grow by 17.3% in 2019 to total $206.2B, up from $175.8B in 2018; and Statista state that 80% of enterprises are both running apps on or experimenting with AWS as their preferred cloud platform.

www.Eseye.com

www.MTN.com

www.AnyNetFederation.com