This is the first of a series of calls for innovation, where Swisscom and partner companies are reaching out to find startups and other innovators to solve actual problems and help us with innovative solutions to create greater value for our customers. 

 

Call for Innovation on Next Generation Virtual Telco Functions & Services Startups (SDN/NFV 2.0)

issued by

 
 
 

Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) are about to transform and disrupt the network operator industry.

That’s why SwisscomTelia Company and Proximus, three leading telco providers from across Europe, are jointly issuing this unique Call for Innovation and invite startups and innovators developing "Next Generation Virtual Telco Functions & Services (SDN / NFV 2.0)" to apply until 23 October 2016.

The best startups will be able to pitch their solution in front of an expert jury and have the chance to be selected for a PoC project and future collaboration with all three telcos..

 

What we are looking for

The topics considered for this call are related to SDN/NFV development within the telecommunication industry. The baseline infrastructure for SDN/NFV is available and is largely based on the de-facto standards and open source-based systems of OpenStack/OPNVF/CloudFoundry. The next steps and next wave of innovations should be using that infrastructure for new networking functions, cloud-native implementation of existing network functions, and new Telco services we could offer in the market.

We are looking for new and innovative network functions and applications in these 4 areas:

  1. Cloud-native Operation/Business Support Systems: implement existing business support functions in a more agile and more cloud-native manner showing the benefit of the cloud-native paradigm for Operations and Business Support Systems. Additionally, OSS/BSS are based on autonomous operations, self-managing systems, and automatic service assurance, meaning that we want to utilize Data Analytics, Machine Learning and AI capabilities to predict future failures and adopt network operations accordingly.
     
  2. Cloud-native Telco Functions: based on the life-cycle of existing network-near functions the following function are of high interest. CGNAT (Carrier-grade NAT), DHCP, DPI (Deep-packet Inspections), BNG (Broadband Network Gateway), PE (Provider Edge) equipment, and communications servers, which provide benefits in the customer experience and improved operation.
     
  3. New End-to-end Applications / Services for our customers implemented cloud-natively and require some infrastructure support. They typically span across DC, core network, access network to the customer equipment and have end-to-end service semantics. From a life-cycle perspective of particular interest are new features for our Business Network Services and other enterprise oriented (B2B/B2B2C) services for large, medium, or small enterprises. The goal is to improve our customer's life (enterprise or residential) with new services or new features and applications.
     
  4. Access Network Hardware enabling softwareization at the edge of the network with hardware/software or data/control plane splits and mobile edge computing applications. Also we expect much more use of open source hardware in the access network space.

 

Our Environment

For Proof of Concepts, the technology environment is largely based on OpenStack/OPNVF (Swisscom), CloudFoundry (Swisscom) and VMware (Telia). Other settings can be discussed.

 

This is why you should apply

We offer potential collaboration for selected startups and would like to start a journey together around a particular next generation telco-service or function. The collaboration ideally develops to the very end and the application is operational on our platform. We commit to go at least up to a joint Proof of Concept project and are willing to publicly showcase the project at the next industry events. We also connect people with our preferred vendors of the baseline platform for eventual re-use or re-distribution of such functionality, if that makes sense.

 

Application is now closed 

Application for our first Call for Innovation is closed since 23 October 2016. We are now evaluating all applications and selected startups will be able to pitch their solution in front of our expert panel on 9 December 2016.

 

 

The next Calls for Innovation around other topics of interest will follow soon.

 

Process towards PoC Projects

 

The Jury Members

We have selected a jury of relevant experts and decision makers from Swisscom, Telia Company and Proximus, complemented by the following leading industry experts:

Prof. Dr. Laurent Vanbever

ETH Zurich, Dept. of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering

Matthew Palmer

Partner at Wiretap Ventures & SDNCentral.com

Dan Pitt

Former Executive Director
Open Networking Foundation

 

Egon Steinkasserer
Head of Innovations @ Swisscom

Stefan Kuentz
Investment Director @ Swisscom Ventures

Mauro Costa
Head of Network Architecture and Strategy @ Telia Company

Thomas Johansson
Director and Head of GSO Commercial Enterprise @Telia Company

Gert Marien
Incubation Manager – TV & Telco cloud | Technology Strategy @ Proximus

Jan Victoir
Architect NFV/SDN @ Proximus

 

Video Message

From Marcus Brunner, Head of Standardization @ Swisscom Ltd

 
 

Topics of Interest in Detail

The topics considered for this call are related to SDN/NFV development within the telecommunication industry. 

Vision

The SDN/NFV platform allows to easily add new functionality and applications into the telecommunication network through software deployment. Therefore, the integration cost should be lower and it allow to have small network additions quickly tried out and afterwards quickly integrated. There are two directions where this paradigm of SDN/NFV will be extended:
 

  1. From monolithic software architecture of the applications/functions to cloud-native architectures. Those cloud-native architectures are basically breaking-up the monolith, which handle the needs of millions of users in the same piece of software into many very small entities handling 1 to a few users, or even like cloud-scale architecture use several entities for a user. 
     
  2. Extending the paradigm of SDN/NFV into the edge and access network. There is this trend in the industry to cloudify more things towards the edge of the network, including NFV-based Central Offices and software-driven 5G access networks for low latency (Mobile Edge Computing).
 

What we are looking for

We are looking for new and innovative network functions and applications, which

  1. Implement existing network functions in more agile and more cloud-native manner showing the benefit of the cloud-native paradigm including OSS/BSS (Operations and Business) functions and network near functions like MME (Mobility-Management Entity), HLR/HSS (Home Location Register), CGNAT (Carrier-grade NAT), DHCP, DPI (Deep-packet Inspections), BNG (Broadband Network Gateway), PE (Provider Edge) equipment, and communications servers, or
  2. New network functions which provide benefits in the customer experience and improved operation, or
  3. New applications /new services implemented for the cloud and ideally require some infrastructure support.
  4. Network functions providing softwareization at the edge of the network including access networks with hardware/software or data/control plane splits and mobile edge computing applications.
 

Environment

For Proof-of-Concepts, the technology environment is largely based on OpenStack/OPNVF and CloudFoundry. Other settings can be discussed.

About SDN and NFV transforming the telco industry

The network operator industry is about to be transformed from a hardware-centric approach to a software-driven model, with Software Defined Networks (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) as the core concepts that disrupt the industry: 

hardware-02.png

1) General Purpose Hardware

Is replacing special purpose hardware due to economies of scale at production level

software-driven-network-architecture.png

2) Software-driven
Network Architecture

Enhances innovation and allows more agility, shorter time-to-market and customizable solutions, as new components can be added quickly to an underlying platform hosting the various network functions

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3) Cloud Technology

has a set of features like multi-tenancy, auto-scaling and large scale automation that are crucial for telecommunication providers

Current Status

The industry currently is in the status of having first standards/de-facto standards finished and first deployments in the market and in production. Most of the deployments use rather monolithic software architectures for the applications running on the SDN/NFV platform. Also the current implementation use NFV in a centralized way and run network functions, which are easily centralizable using cloud technology.


Specifically in Swisscom, there is a Business Network Service (BNS) product implemented with SDN/NFV integrated into our OSS/BSS systems and the NFV infrastructure (Telco Cloud) for Telco Functions is soon available in production and is used for a set of Telecom Functions.

Vision for SDN / NFV in Telco Industry

The SDN/NFV platform makes it possible to easily add new functionality and applications into the telecommunication network by deploying software. This reduces integration costs and enables small network additions to quickly be tried and integrated. There are two directions where this paradigm of SDN/NFV will be extended:

  1. From monolithic software architecture of the applications/functions to cloud-native architectures. Those cloud-native architectures are basically breaking-up the monolith, which handle the needs of millions of users in the same piece of software into many very small entities handling 1 to a few users, or even like cloud-scale architecture use several entities for a user.
  2. Extending the paradigm of SDN/NFV into the edge and access network. There is this trend in the industry to cloudify more things towards the edge of the network, including NFV-based Central Offices and software-driven 5G access networks for low latency (Mobile Edge Computing).

Opportunities for new Players

Through the technological change and the change in the business environment, there are opportunities for newcomers in the ecosystem to create value propositions for certain functionalities and collaborate with existing players in the telco industry.

That’s why SwisscomTelia Company and Proximus, 3 leading telecommunication providers from across Europe, are jointly launching this call for innovation focusing on the SDN / NFV topics

 

About the Partner Companies

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Swisscom

Swisscom, Switzerland’s leading telecoms company and one of its leading IT companies, is headquartered in Ittigen, close to the capital city Berne. Swisscom’s international activities are concentrated mainly in Italy, where its subsidiary Fastweb is one of the biggest broadband providers. Around 21,500 employees achieve a revenues ofCHF 2.89 billion to the end of the 1st Quarter 2016. Swisscom is one of the most sustainable companies in Switzerland and Europe.

Swisscom full company profile

Telia Company

Our 21,000 talented colleagues serve millions of customers every day in one of the world’s most connected regions. With a strong connectivity base, we’re the hub in the digital ecosystem, empowering people, companies and societies to stay in touch with everything that matters 24/7/365 - on their terms. Headquartered in Stockholm, the heart of innovation and technology, we’re set to change the industry and bring the world even closer for our customers.


Read About Telia Company, visit our Newsroom and follow us on @teliacompany

Proximus

Proximus (Euronext Brussels: PROX) is the leading provider of telephony, internet, television and network-based ICT services in Belgium.  Through its Proximus and Scarlet brands, Proximus aims to deliver the best customer experience and to simplify the customer journey by offering accessible and easy-to-use solutions to the residential, enterprise and public markets. Proximus’ high-quality interconnected fixed and mobile networks offer access anywhere and anytime to digital services and data, as well as to a broad offering of multimedia content. Proximus is active in Luxembourg through its affiliates Telindus Luxembourg and Tango and in the Netherlands through Telindus Netherlands. Its subsidiary BICS offers best-in-class international wholesale solutions for voice and mobile data service providers worldwide. At the end of 2015, Proximus had around 14,000 employees and generated an underlying Group revenue of EUR 5,994 million.


More info : www.proximus.com and www.proximus.be