Turkcell and Affirmed Networks launch 1.8Tbps virtualised network

06 February 2019 | Natalie Bannerman

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Turkcell and Affirmed Networks, a provider of virtualised mobile networks, have deployed one of the largest virtualised mobile networks in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

The network currently supports more than 35 million mobile broadband subscribers and is capable of supporting up to 1.8Tbps of customer traffic across the region.

"Turkcell has achieved an industry leading milestone and we are honoured to have been their trusted partner through each stage of this impressive transformation," said Hassan Ahmed, chairman and CEO, Affirmed Networks. "Many factors were key to the success of this initiative. Turkcell began with a powerful vision and clear objectives for the virtualisation of their mobile network. We combined our accomplished teams with key learnings and best practices from deployments we have completed with other top operators globally to implement this network quickly."

The news follows an announcement made in February 2018 when Affirmed Networks was selected by Turkcell to provide virtualised network infrastructure for the operator’s network transformation initiative to streamline costs and drive revenue growth. Under the partnership, Affirmed Networks delivered Turkcell’s virtualised GiLAN solution as well as its Unified Telco Cloud. Additionally, Affirmed Networks also provides Turkcell’s data optimisation solution, one of its largest NFV deployments.

Turkcell chose Red Hat OpenStack Platform as its cloud foundation for its Unified Telco Cloud which Red Hat helped to design and train its network team. It leveraged Red Hat’s carrier-grade distribution of the open source, scalable infrastructure framework for building hybrid clouds, supported by Red Hat Ceph Storage, an open, software-defined storage technology designed for object storage and cloud infrastructure.

"We initially selected Affirmed Networks based on their innovation in the area of network transformation and virtualisation and their work with some of the world's largest operators,” said Gediz Sezgin, Turkcell's CTO. “Our decision has been reinforced many times throughout the deployment, as we were continually impressed by the speed in which we were able to move from testing to roll-out; a process that took as little as four months for us to virtualise the critical services required for the success of the project."

As a result of the strategic partnership between the two and the virtualised network , benefits include an accelerated ability to deliver new services to market, and significant reductions in capital expenditure. Affirmed Networks will continue to support Turkcell overseeing the day-to-day operations of the network for the next three to five years.