Odine: Enabling virtualisation

Odine: Enabling virtualisation

23 June 2020 | Executive Interview

Cover

Four years since the launch of Turkcell’s Unified Telco Cloud and Odine Solutions continues to innovate as the demands continue to grow.

2016 saw Turkcell launch its Unified Telco Cloud, a vendor agnostic NFVI built on Red Hat OpenStack and CEPH Storage. Though well-known in the industry, one the keys players in the introduction of this infrastructure is Odine Solutions, who not only helped to deploy the offering but also manages the solution for Turkcell.

“We believe Unified Telco Cloud is an integral foundation for Turkcell’s digital transformation journey on their path to becoming a digital experience provider.

“It empowers Turkcell with the efficiency, agility, flexibility, and scalability to rapidly launch new innovative services at Web scale to be able to compete with and launch their own OTT Services,” said Alper Tunga Burak, CEO of Odine Solutions.

Thanks to the Unified Telco Cloud, Turkcell has been able to reduce launch time for new services by 66%, achieved return on investment (ROI) three times faster, and has avoided vendor lock-in, Burak explains.

“To date, Turkcell has virtualised 60% of its mobile core services on its telco cloud, with 20 unique virtualised network functions (VNFs) live on this Unified NFVI platform,” says Burak.

“Thousands of servers are now hosting 1.8Tbps of capacity in 10 points of presence (PoPs) with additional PoPs currently being deployed, and last but not least, Turkcell is on target to meet its 75% goal by the end of 2020.”

Now four years into their collaboration, Burak shares that Turkcell, Odine and its partner Affirmed Networks are readying the next stage of development, focusing on driving intelligence and automation in creating, deploying and managing new offerings.

“Along with our partner Affirmed Networks, we will be implementing a state-of art unified Management and Orchestration (MANO), Generic Virtual Network Function Manager (G-VNFM), and Service Assurance (SA) Solution,” says Burak.

“This will automate and orchestrate the service provisioning and VNF Lifecycle Management of VNFs in Turkcell’s rapidly growing infrastructure, including service configuration of physical network functions, and management & orchestration of hybrid services.”

If that weren’t enough, the three will also work together to deploy a virtualised mobile Wifi gateway at Turkcell so that they can use Wifi technology for extended coverage, seamless connectivity as well as improved customer experience.

“We also look forward to taking a part in the evolution of Turkcell’s Telco Unified Cloud to support microservices-based cloud-native containers (CNF) and orchestration using Kubernetes.,” added Burak.

Businesses moving to the cloud are becoming increasingly common place as of late, driven by the need for business transformation, improved customers experience and greater operational efficiencies.

As self-proclaimed ‘Masters of Telco Cloud’, Odine asserts that it is an ideal ideal technology partner for traditional telco that want to transition into digital operators due to its expertise and experience with NFVi, VNFs, CNFs, and MANO in its respective regions.

“Our experience in packet and circuit switched networks as well as the IT domain, along with our expansive portfolio of best of breed solutions, in-house software development & integration teams, and experience with running our own Odine B/OSS wholesale solution-as-a-cloud service, make us an ideal technology partner for telcos on their journey from a communication service providers to a digital service provider,” he explains.

One of the biggest challenges Burak has identified in the digital transformation journey is the need for communication service providers stay competitive and rapidly innovate by implementing the same technologies and agile processes.

“This will not require just changes in terms of network evolution but changes to the organisational structure and corporate culture of telecoms,” added Burak.

“Having said this, two of the biggest challenges we’ve seen at some of our customers is internal resistance to change or employee pushback, and secondly, lack of in-house expertise/skills.”

Some of the biggest tools in combating these challenges is by leveraging such technologies as5G, IoT/M2M, and AI – tactic Odine has already begun to implement.

“These are certainly technologies that we are continually striving to evolve our expertise and portfolio around as they are the future of, and of strategic importance for our telecom operator customers,” says Burak.

“5G and AI are at the forefront of our strategic priorities. We are currently in proof of concept’s at multiple operators for 5G Cores, for all three use cases, eMBB, URLLC and mMTC.”

Next on the roadmap for Odine is to deploy a full-suite wholesale voice OSS/BSS solution for Turkcell and of course “we are very enthusiastic about and focusing on 5G, cloud native open RAN and edge computing”.