Verizon in global launch of virtual services

Verizon in global launch of virtual services

Service launch covering 53 countries, and 67 by end of year, while Verizon talks to carriers about wholesale deals

Verizon is launching virtualised network services to 53 countries around the world including the US, and plans to expand the reach to 67 countries by the end of 2016.

Today’s launch is focused on enterprise customers, but the company is talking to wholesale telecoms partners about offering them virtualised services.

“We have started to talk to some of our wholesale partners, but it’s too early,” said Peter Konings, head of EMEA product team in Verizon’s enterprise network services. “We are working with a broad range of access partners and they are looking at virtualised services as well.”

They are considering taking Verizon’s services to market to their customers, he said. Many are interested in delivering their own virtualised network services (VNSs) to their customers “and they want to see if they can link with Verizon’s services”. That would require a high level or integration and orchestration “and it is too early to tell”, said Konings. “But that’s clearly the direction.”

Verizon’s introduction of VNSs in an initial 53 countries will give it a strong baseline to expand the offer to other countries – including some where Verizon does not yet have a presence. In some countries there are difficult import restrictions on certain customer premises equipment (CPE), and Verizon would in theory be able to offer virtualised services directly to customers that did not have the physical hardware.

“It’s just the time it takes to get a Cisco router into Bangladesh or Congo,” said Konings. With virtualisation, “we have less need for the CPE so we can expand our coverage”. Services will be deliverable wherever there is a suitable broadband connection with adequate latency. “If we have a customer that wants to go into a country in Africa, we could still deliver.”

Today’s launch by Verizon Enterprise Services will enable clients to essentially operate what the company calls a “living” network that can be changed quickly to address the number of company locations and users, bandwidth required by application, and application use by employee to enable a secure, high performance and efficient network.

The initial service release includes equipment from Cisco, Juniper Networks, Fortinet, Riverbed, Palo Alto Networks and Viptela. “Over time we will be adding a Verizon-branded white box in a few months. By the end of the year we will have a solution based out of our Verizon network cloud.”

Verizon says that advantages of the new virtualised services include agility, reduction in total cost of ownership, end-to-end management and the availability of flexible service tiers.

Enterprise customers have changed the way they do business, said Konings. “In the past most people in a company were working out of one office. Now more people are working wherever makes most sense.”

But with the need for agility, speed and new applications, “the challenge has been the network”, he said. VNSs will provide “a better application-focused networking solution”.

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