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Cloud-Native Telecoms and Containerization

The Benefits of Cloud-Native Solutions for Telecoms Business Value-Added Services

Here at ECT, we provide our full portfolio of value-added services as cloud-native functions (CNFs) with Kubernetes-based management and orchestration. Here is a list of some of our network services, all of them deliverable as containerized functions:

  • IVR

  • NTS

  • SMS FW


  • VPN

  • MMSC

  • RBT

  • SMS IP

  • Voice and Video Softphones

  • NP

  • Robocall Blocking

  • SMSC

  • Voicemail

Virtualized network functions (VNFs) have had a transformational impact on telecoms. But cloud technology has evolved significantly over the last 10 years, and along the way it has addressed some of the biggest challenges of VNFs. In particular, cloud-native network functions (CNFs) have simplified the process of moving to cloud-native infrastructures and have delivered a number of advantages:

Deploying Value-Added Services and Business-Services Solutions: Public vs Private Cloud Environments

CSPs are moving to the cloud. According to a recent study, 46% of telco network capacity will be entirely cloud-native in the next three to five years. To reach that level, CSPs will have to spend at least an average of $206 million per year during that period, which could mean investing more than $1 billion on cloud network transformation.
While the public cloud represents a big opportunity for CSPs to easily gain operational efficiencies, telecom experts have voiced concerns about the handling of sensitive data on such platforms. According to a survey from a leading industry-related website, "more than four in five industry respondents feared security concerns over running telco applications in the public cloud, including 37% who find it hard to make the business case for public cloud as private cloud remains vital in addressing security issues." Other concerns include vendor lock-in and issues with interoperability when using multiple public clouds. These issues might be the reason that some of the biggest names in telecoms (Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, and Telefonica) are taking the hybrid-cloud route, keeping their workloads on-premise while using the public cloud for support and edge services.

Regardless of whether a CSP is using the public, private, or hybrid approach, ECT can provide value-added telecom services as cloud-native network functions orchestrated via Kubernetes in most clouds.

Revolutionizing Your Telecoms Infrastructure with Containerized, Cloud-Native Solutions

Microservices are a central part of cloud-native software. A microservice architecture is a software-development approach that arranges an application as a collection of small, highly cohesive, and loosely coupled component-like services. This segmentation allows the reuse of microservices in different applications, making networks and infrastructure much more dynamic and flexible while improving efficiency and productivity (For example, one paused microservice doesn't stop the other microservices). To package these microservices as a standalone function, we use containers, which are lightweight environments that can execute all their processes independently from all other containers. Since they operate with a bare minimum of necessary software, containers are not as demanding on CPUs and memory overhead as a virtual machine.

Containers and microservices are a fundamental part of cloud-native networks. Containers are especially useful in 5G networks, because latency, resiliency, and portability play a big role when dealing with edge computing. Containers are also a great solution for migrating network services to the cloud. At ECT, we are experts at migrating from old bare-metal legacy hardware using our value-added telecoms services as containerized functions.

Choosing the Right Container Orchestration Platform for Value-Added Services and Business-Services Solutions

Container orchestrators such as Kubernetes, Google's open-source project, enable the building of services through multiple containers while automating most of the manual processes related to the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Kubernetes can be deployed either as a Container-as-a-Service (CaaS), a Platform-as-a-Service, or as a combination of both. Kubernetes has become the leading orchestrator for managing containers in many industries.

In the telecom industry, vendor-agnostic organizations such as the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) have created programs and certifications to help CSPs adopt Kubernetes. The big names that already use Kubernetes in the telecoms industry include Nokia, T-Mobile, and Vodafone.

Streamlining Your Value-Added Services and Business Services with Containerization Technology

The migration of telecoms value-added services to containerized applications adds much-needed flexibility and agility to CSPs. Cloud-native network functions also allow CSPs to accelerate their development cycles. At the same time, CSPs are no longer restrained by vendor lock-in or legacy hardware, which means that they can truly innovate with core services that are tailor-made for the real needs of their individual business customers and local markets.

The Advantages of Implementing Value-Added Services and Business Services as Cloud-Native Functions

Containerization of telecoms value-added services is essential to 5G networks. While some communications service providers are delivering their VAS from old 4G networks, this workaround requires paying maintenance for two networks – 4G and 5G –, one of which is devoted exclusively to running services provided by legacy hardware.

Therefore, the logical (and cost-effective) solution is to get rid of data centers and all the expensive real estate where CSPs used to host their legacy VAS and move all existing services to containerized solutions. This is where ECT can help.

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Learn more about the advantages of virtualized networks, our migration process, and the advantages of choosing ECT.

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