Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) today announced the general availability of AWS Telco Network Builder, a fully managed service that helps customers deploy, run, and scale telco networks on AWS. Now, communications service providers (CSPs) can use their familiar telecom industry standard language to describe the details of their network (e.g., connection points, networking requirements, compute needs, and geographical distribution) in a template uploaded to the service.
AWS Telco Network Builder translates the template into a cloud-based network architecture and provisions the necessary AWS infrastructure, shortening the deployment of an operational, cloud-configured telco network from days to hours. As customers update their networks, AWS Telco Network Builder automatically adjusts compute and storage resources, allowing CSPs to focus on business operations and deliver new services.
AWS Telco Network Builder provides a centralized dashboard to monitor and manage the network running on AWS infrastructure – whether on premises or in AWS Regions. There are no upfront commitments or fees to use AWS Telco Network Builder, and customers pay only for the AWS services used to manage their network.
CSPs want to take advantage of the cloud’s performance, elasticity, and scale to build modern telco networks that support emerging use cases like smart cities, autonomous vehicles, and robotics. However, designing and scaling a telco network in the cloud can be a laborious, time-intensive process due to the iterative nature and breadth of network use cases, such as business support systems, mobile core, and radio networks. CSPs must first deploy and securely interconnect hundreds of specialized network functions (NFs)—containerized network appliances, like routers and firewalls—across dozens of vendors and thousands of locations, often hardcoding the infrastructure’s parameters when replicating across deployment locations.
Once the NFs are deployed, the CSP must update each NF individually to incorporate new software capabilities or make configuration changes, which is time-consuming work that strains resources. Building and running the network also requires skilled network architects with experience in cloud design and management. Additionally, CSPs must often purchase, setup, and maintain separate monitoring tools to observe the health of their on-premises and cloud-based infrastructures, making it challenging to obtain a complete view of their networks and address issues. As a result, CSPs can sometimes allocate too many resources to the undifferentiated heavy lifting of network management instead of focusing on innovating new experiences.
AWS Telco Network Builder is a fully managed network automation service that enables CSPs to deploy, run, and scale their telco networks on AWS faster and more easily. To start, a CSP populates their network architecture (e.g., routing requirements, location of deployment, specific NFs) as a template in the service’s console using telecom industry standard language, making it intuitive and easy to begin. AWS Telco Network Builder translates the customer’s network specifications into a cloud-based network architecture, streamlining programming requirements across multiple software vendors and accounting for the network’s geographic footprint. AWS Telco Network Builder automatically maps the provided topology to network services, provisions the necessary compute and storage resources, and connects the NFs to create an operational telco network. Customers can then reuse the uploaded templates to replicate that network architecture in new regions. As customers change their network configuration or run software updates, AWS Telco Network Builder handles lifecycle management for the NFs, performs updates to the NFs, and adjusts related infrastructure.
AWS Telco Network Builder is being sold to both public and private network operators, including those with existing network operations as well as those launching new networks.
Jan Hofmeyr, VP of Amazon EC2 said telcos those network functions in the format that telecom network operators have can continue to run their networks in the way they have in the past, even as they shift network functions into the AWS cloud. “It’s really an attempt to make it easier for them,” Hofmeyr said of the new product. “It doesn’t require them to be cloud experts on day one.”
Together, AWS Telco Network Builder and Amazon CloudWatch provide a comprehensive view of the NFs and AWS infrastructure, so customers can efficiently monitor and manage their networks to identify and remediate issues more quickly. AWS Telco Network Builder also integrates with popular third-party, end-to-end orchestrators for CSPs to maintain continuity across existing telco network operations and business systems. With AWS Telco Network Builder, customers only pay for the AWS products and services they use, so they can quickly scale their network based on business requirements.
“The telecom industry is undergoing a transformation as CSPs navigate building their telco networks in the cloud,” said Jan Hofmeyr, vice president of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). “Some of the biggest challenges CSPs face as they look to migrate include manually configuring and then managing these complex networks, which impedes growth and stifles innovation. Groundbreaking in the value it provides to the telecom industry, AWS Telco Network Builder removes the burden of translating a customer’s desired telco network into a cloud architecture, empowering them to easily modernize and quickly scale to meet demand while freeing time and capital to build new offerings, expand coverage, and refocus on invention.”
AWS Telco Network Builder is generally available today in U.S. East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), Asia Pacific (Sydney), Europe (Frankfurt), and Europe (Paris), and with availability in additional AWS Regions coming soon.
Amdocs is a leading provider of software and services to communications and media companies. “The current era of 5G cloud-based networks creates an opportunity for communications service providers to deliver accelerated value at unparalleled scale and efficiency,” said Anthony Goonetilleke, group president at Amdocs Technology. “Amdocs Intelligent Networking Suite takes advantage of AWS Telco Network Builder’s support of telecom interfaces to simplify service and network orchestration while bringing agility to network planning, deployment and operations.”
Cloudify is an open source, multi-cloud orchestration platform that packages infrastructure, networking, and existing automation tools into self-service environments. “We’ve observed the challenges the industry faces in bridging the gap between applications and cloud environments,” said Nati Shalom, CTO and founder of Cloudify. “Our work with AWS Telco Network Builder will help communications service providers more easily manage their network services by automating network planning, deployment, and operations activities using standard DevOps and IT service management tools. We are excited to use AWS Telco Network Builder to simplify the orchestration of network workloads using standard European Telecommunications Standards Institute-based interfaces.”
Infosys is a global leader in next-generation digital services and consulting. “The cloud’s scalability and efficiency are key to enabling innovation and reducing the complexity of managing telco network operations, which arms us with the tools to deliver new services for our end users continuously,” said Anand Swaminathan, executive vice president and global industry leader – Communications, Media, and Technology at Infosys. “As we look to build and operate cloud-based networks for our clients with Infosys Cobalt, we are excited to leverage AWS Telco Network Builder to increase the operational efficiency of mobile and private networks, ultimately enabling a streamlined operational model across Multi-G technologies.”
Mavenir is a network software provider building the future of networks with leading 4G, 5G, Core, and IP Multimedia Subsystem cloud-native software. “Managing 4G, 5G, Core, and IP Multimedia Subsystem networks is complex. Often these networks are distributed across the edge continuum,” said Bejoy Pankajakshan, chief strategy officer at Mavenir. “AWS Telco Network Builder allows us to create repeatable network templates that speed up the definition, provisioning, deployment, and upgrading of network services for our customers. The collaboration between Mavenir and AWS offers customers flexibility and agility in the deployment of network functions, furthering us toward our goal of building a single, software-based automated network.”
O2 Telefónica is a leading telecommunications provider in Germany, with around 47 million mobile telephone lines and 2.3 million broadband lines. “As we transition our telco network to the cloud, we strive to achieve greater operational simplicity while accelerating the roll-out of our network and services,” said Bas Hendrikx, head of Cloud Center of Excellence at O2 Telefónica. “We are exploring AWS Telco Network Builder to enable us to leverage automation to deliver new 5G network services faster and manage our networks more efficiently. At O2 Telefónica, we are committed to shaping digital change that benefits everyone, and our investments in building cloud-native networks and using AWS services help to provide greater value and performance to our customers.”
Dish Network in the U.S., Swisscom in Switzerland, and Spark in New Zealand are among the operators that have agreed to put their 5G SA core network functions into the AWS cloud.
To learn more, visit aws.amazon.com/tnb