As part of the deal, Virgin Media O2 will implement VMware Telco Cloud Infrastructure
U.K. carrier Virgin Media O2 has selected VMware for the modernization of its network and to enable the continued rollout of its 5G network.
In a release, Virgin Media O2 said it will leverage VMware Telco Cloud Infrastructure to rapidly design, build, test and implement virtualized network functions, boosting innovation across its network and the delivery of new services. The collaboration has underpinned the deployment of Virgin Media O2’s 5G network over the past 16 months.
VMware’s Telco Cloud Infrastructure delivers a single horizontal platform enabling Virgin Media O2 to simplify, scale, and better protect its core cloud networks, the company added.
Virgin Media O2 will also leverage VMware Tanzu for Telco’s Kubernetes cluster capabilities to build Containers as a Service (CaaS) proficiency. This will support the next generation of containerized network functions and enable Virgin Media O2 to maintain and expand the network’s ability to support multi-vendor solutions.
“As the rollout of 5G networks comes close to completion, service providers need to be able to modernize their network infrastructure quickly, simply, and economically. The best way to do this is through a single platform that can automate and streamline delivery of multi-vendor network functions,” said Sanjay Uppal, SVP and general manager, Service Provider & Edge, at VMware. “Through its work with VMware, Virgin Media O2 is able to deploy a network infrastructure that enables the successful roll out of its 5G services without limitations, by harnessing the agility, flexibility, and consistency of a common platform.”
Chris Buggie, director of infrastructure and cloud engineering and delivery at Virgin Media O2, said: “Virtualizing and modernizing our network is essential if we are to cement our position as the leading telco provider across UK and EU and we are delighted to partner with VMware to achieve this. By utilizing a consistent, NFV- and cloud-native platform for onboarding and managing our workloads and network functions, we are able reinvest into the network and our customers with a service we can be proud of.”
Virgin Media O2 launched services in June 2021 as a joint venture between Liberty Global and Telefónica in the U.K. The new Virgin Media O2 is one of the U.K.’s largest operators with 47 million connections including broadband, mobile, TV and fixed lines.
Liberty Global and Telefonica had reached an agreement to merge their U.K. operations in a 50-50 joint venture in May of 2020. That same month, the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) decided to allow the proposed merger between mobile operator O2 and Virgin Media.
The company, which has committed to investing at least £10 billion (currently $13.07 billion) in the U.K., delivered 5G to over 2,000 sites across the country last year and now has 5G coverage in areas spanning 300 towns and cities. The operator had also committed to reach 50% of the U.K.’s population with its 5G services in 2023.