In this case study

New architecture, new pressure 

5G is an evolution rather than a revolution, but it nevertheless requires significant structural changes to how infrastructure is delivered and managed. Almost every element of network operation is impacted, from skills and culture to product strategy, automation and orchestration. 

For Virgin Media O2, network demands continue to increase year-over-year as more customers subscribe to its services, and the transition to 5G is creating pressure to deliver ever more bandwidth. These pressures led Virgin Media O2 to recognize the need to modernize its network, and doing so would rely on making much greater use of multicloud.

For many years, networks were almost completely siloed, inflexible and built by single vendors in a black-box approach. Utilizing cloud for the core network increases its agility, providing cloud features and a unified, software-defined infrastructure suited to today's rapid pace of upgrades and the demands of 5G.

Implementing Telco Cloud

To turn its 5G strategy into reality, Virgin Media O2 engaged WWT, VMware and Arista to deliver their telco cloud.

Telco cloud is composed of multiple vendors that must all be integrated with various software partners. The complexity of projects has increased many times over — and with it, so have the possible points of failure.

For Virgin Media O2, the deployment of their telco cloud was particularly complex as the new, virtualized architecture needed to align with its core network. What's more, it had to be built from scratch and be operational within a matter of months. 

This complexity made WWT the ideal partner to help realize Virgin Media O2's cloud ambitions. We have a proven ability to adapt to the new cloud-based methodology and decades of expertise in cloud IT skills. We also have a long-term relationship with VMware, and deep experience of working with both hyperscalers and telco functions. This familiarity with both disciplines, allied to consultancy, was critical to the smooth running of the project — and, ultimately, its success.

           - Chris Buggie, Virgin Media O2's Director of Core Infrastructure and Cloud Services

Delivering amid unprecedented challenges

Partnering with VMware and Arista, WWT deployed critical telco cloud 5G infrastructure in the middle of a global pandemic whilst navigating complex supply chain circumstances. VMware delivered its leading Telco Cloud Platform, which simplifies the design, deployment, management, and optimization of 5G networks by using a common horizontal architecture, while Arista provided its cutting-edge automation solutions and consultants for design and deployment of the network. 

WWT's role was to operate as cloud and infrastructure integrator, responsible for the wider aggregated design of the project, the vision for the overarching solution and, ultimately, the deployment of the working telco cloud.

The project required Virgin Media O2 to deploy its new cloud infrastructure at a nationwide scale, and WWT rose to the challenge. We provided: 

  • Fully integrated infrastructure that ensured end-to-end on-site readiness
  • Centralized operations that scaled and flexed on demand
  • Proactive risk management to mitigate supply chain threats
  • Specialist engineering team with deep domain experience
  • Dedicated solution team that streamlined delivery

In the face of extreme circumstances, the project achieved its strategic aim: A telco cloud was delivered that will enable Virgin Media O2 to begin taking full advantage of the promise of 5G.

                - Ken Kiser, Group Vice President Sales, Arista

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