NTT Communications Becomes an NFV-Fueled Software Telco

In a press conference, NTT Communications unveiled today the first global NFV and SDN network. Touting the fact that CIOs and service providers need to more heavily focus on their networks, the company said these technologies will create a bigger wave than the internet for carriers.

They say the level of disruption is tremendous.

If you’ve read my comments about the birth, potential and future of the software telco business (more), you can see I agree in general with what the company is espousing.

As the company says, without NFV and SDN you launched new services with proprietary hardware in years, instead of months. Moreover the cost to launch now with new technologies could be as little as a few hundred thousand dollars. The suggestion is a multimillion dollar cost from previously required proprietary systems.

Another idea they looked to get across is this technology will allow services on demand, meaning enterprises will be able to more easily order and purchase them from their carriers.

A typical branch office today where the list on the right represents separate boxes


Most importantly they say CIOs will be able to buy services on a per-use basis instead of signing long-term contracts. Moreover, new services from the company will be activated in as little as three minutes.

Takashi Ooi, NTT Com’s Vice President of Enterprise Network Service said “It is not only about saving capital and operational costs.” He continued, “NTT Com’s services transform enterprise WAN to enable customers to stay agile and responsive to the ever-changing business environment.”

One of the benefits touted is the removal of redundant equipment from the customer closet such as antivirus boxes, firewalls and other boxes seen in the diagram above.

NTT acquired Virtella this past January in order to provide these services. “Virtela and NTT Com’s SDN and NFV innovations give enterprises unprecedented choice and control in transforming their global enterprise networks,” said Virtela President Ron Haigh. “We are accelerating the delivery of new innovative services, setting the highest bar in the industry with a flexible subscription model that enables CIOs to simplify network architecture and allow them to focus on their core business.”

NTT Com’s new portal will allow you to instantly boost local internet performance and use a policy-builder to set a policy based on URL filtering or other criteria. In addition, cloud-based application acceleration can be activated in minutes between offices if needed. Likewise, IPSEC gateways and global VPNs can be instantly initiated. Services can be deactivated just as easily they say.

The company touts 50 cloud centers globally which will supply four new services, SSL VPN to connect small/home offices, IPSEC gateway services, firewall and application acceleration. They will continue to add-on new functions over time.


Another point made in the conference was firewalls configured separately on a per-office basis cause an inconsistent security environment which can potentially be dangerous (see diagram above).

The company thinks they are many years ahead of the competition and are very proud to make this announcement. Based on my experience, they are correct and should be.

Continuing, NTT Com says revenue in the wireless market has moved to Apple and Google and carriers have become just pipe providers. This, they say is the reason why carriers need to act… As CIOs need a new model and architecture. In other words, service providers that adopt the new model – I call them software telcos will take business from the competition. They believe enterprise customers will come for the flexibility and stay if the service is good. They continued by saying that carriers need to to give enterprises more flexibility.

The service will be available in every city in 190+ countries where they provide network connectivity starting in July.

My colleague Paula Bernier has thoughts on this news which is worth reading. Here is the presentation from the company in PDF.

See also:

To learn more about NFV & SDN, be sure to come to Software Telco Congress Aug 12-14, 2014 collocated with ITEXPO

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