Oracle Cloud for Telcos: Key updates and highlights

February 25, 2024 | 7 minute read
Himanshu Shukla
Senior Principal Product Manager, OCI Development Product Management
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Over the past year, Oracle has continued to advance support for telecommunications (telco) customers and their workloads with product enhancements, partnerships, and powerful services. This recap highlights how Oracle is helping telcos seize opportunities to transform and modernize their businesses across 5G networks, enterprise services, and mission critical systems.

For example, working with our customer Telenor, we performed a proof of concept (POC) to deploy a best-in-breed multivendor 5G core on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) to demonstrate the following key principles of operating networks with a distributed cloud architecture:

  • The ease of migration from on-premises to cloud
  • The ability to operate with open Kubernetes and observability tools
  • Fully automated deployments with no vendor lock-in
  • A fully performant and cost-effective solution

The POC seamlessly integrated Oracle Communications solutions with 5G network functions from Enea and Casa Systems, all orchestrated by Nokia’s service orchestrator and resource manager.

To learn more about what Oracle has been doing to help telcos on their cloud journey, read on.

Distributed cloud

OCI offers a complete suite of distributed cloud solutions aimed at delivering infrastructure- and platform-as-a-service (IaaS and PaaS) to run telco applications/workloads wherever telcos require them, from their own data center to the edge. This spectrum of solutions allows OCI to address almost any operational scenario or regulatory requirement that customers face when running their workloads or providing services:

  • Dedicated Regions: Dedicated Regions provide the full range of OCI cloud services in the telco’s own premises for their IT, network, and enterprise workloads. Dedicated Regions provide the same functionality, performance, and cost structure as OCI public regions, allowing telcos to adopt advanced cloud capabilities and reduce their capex. For example, Dedicated Regions provided Vodafone a path to modernize their IT systems and lower lifecycle management costs. Vodafone can support the diverse and increasingly complex variety of services available to their customers. For more information, see How Vodafone is preparing to become an Industry Service Provider with Oracle.
  • Oracle Compute Cloud@Customer: To support near edge deployments for workloads, such as UPF, RAN, or MEC, Oracle recently announced the general availability (GA) of Oracle Compute Cloud@Customer. Compute Cloud@Customer brings OCI native services and APIs in a single rack to the customer’s data center with the hardware, lifecycle management, and control plane all provided by Oracle. For more information, see Compute Cloud@Customer.
  • Tactical 5G: By combining Oracle Roving Edge Infrastructure with 5G technology, OCI has empowered customers to deploy ruggedized private 5G networks closer to the action, supporting a variety of field applications and use cases. Recently Oracle partnered with Saudi Telecom Company (STC) to demonstrate these capabilities at the World Defense Show in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. For more information, see Future-Proof Tactical 4G/5G for Military Operations

Frictionless deployment

The telecom landscape continues to evolve, driven by 5G advancements, heightened enterprise demands, and the need for efficient business operations. In this dynamic environment, telcos must be able to rollout new services in an easy and efficient manner, eliminating roadblocks and streamlining every step from planning to activation.

OCI has recently made the following product and partnership announcements:

  • Telco-ready managed Kubernetes: Oracle Container Engine for Kubernetes (OKE) offers a mature platform for deploying and managing cloud native workloads, from control and user planes in the network to operations and business support (OSS and BSS) solutions. OKE’s support for single root I/O virtualization (SR-IOV), data plane development kit (DPDK), and multiple pod or container interfaces allow it to readily support exceptional packet performance and demanding workloads, such as UPF and data plane traffic. For more information, see Configure SR-IOV interfaces for pods using Multus for VM-based Oracle Container Engine for Kubernetes nodes.
  • VMware Telco Cloud Platform (TCP): VMware’s Telco Cloud Platform – Public Cloud was recently integrated with the Oracle Cloud VMware Service, further empowering telcos to migrate, design and deploy end-to-end networks on OCI by using a rich ecosystem of VMware-verified network functions. For more information, see Announcing the Oracle Cloud VMware Solution spring release with new flexible standard shapes.
  • Red Hat OpenShift: At CloudWorld 2023, Oracle and Red Hat announced that OpenShift would be supported and certified on OCI. In November 2023, we followed through on that promise and made Red Hat OpenShift on OCI with virtual machines (VMs) available for Developer Preview. This capability allows telcos to deploy Red Hat based 5G services across OCI’s public or dedicated regions. For more information, see Announcing Red Hat OpenShift on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure with Virtual Machines.  
  • Landing zones: With OCI’s prebuilt blueprints, enterprise customers can provision environments tailored to their specific workloads, making it easy to repeatably deploy and configure network and IT environments for mission critical services. These templates ensure proper resource allocation, network configuration, and security settings. We’re also developing prebuilt infrastructure blueprints for telcos. For more information, see Deploy a secure landing zone that meets the CIS Foundations Benchmark for Oracle Cloud.
  • TM Forum Open Digital Architecture (ODA) Canvas: Oracle remains committed to supporting open standards and APIs for telcos to build their networks and deploy services. This past year, we onboarded the ODA Canvas, a production environment for ODA components, to OCI and made it available for free in the Oracle Cloud Marketplace. The ODA Canvas transforms a standard Kubernetes environment with a set of ODA system services, providing operators and vendors with a development and test environment to build and verify ODA Component specifications with a behavioral driven design approach. For more information, see TM Forum ODA Canvas on OCI.
  • GSMA SAS-SM accreditation: To support the telecommunications industry in its challenges for running its mobile technology and services securely and reliably, OCI is pleased to announce that it has achieved the GSMA SAS-SM certification for 124 OCI services in 36 Oracle public cloud regions. With this certification, customers using Oracle's Telco Cloud infrastucture  can confidently rely on these services for their subscription management hosting solutions. https://blogs.oracle.com/cloud-infrastructure/post/oci-achieves-gsma-sassm-certification

Artificial intelligence for Telcos

Over the past year, Oracle has announced a broad range of services and capabilities around AI, including the general availability of the OCI Generative AI service. Through these services, OCI is committed to helping telcos achieve the right business outcomes using Generative AI and broader AI solutions. We collaborate with our customers across a wide range of use cases, from enhanced radio frequency (RF) planning and customer service workflows to intelligent network operations.

For example, telcos can utilize powerful large language models (LLMs) running on OCI GPU clusters to analyze vast amounts of customer data, generating personalized recommendations and targeted marketing campaigns. OCI’s Generative AI Agents (RAG) agents can be fine-tuned for specific network management tasks, further streamlining operations and optimizing performance for telcos. RAG agents with natural language understanding can further help resolve customer queries without the need for complex SQL queries. The agents can offer personalized responses, offer troubleshooting steps, and even escalate issues seamlessly, leading to faster resolution and happier customers.

For network operations, OCI empowers telcos with AI-powered insights and automation. Network anomalies can be automatically detected and resolved, minimizing downtime and ensuring optimal performance. Fueled by OCI Generative AI models, predictive maintenance can anticipate potential equipment failures, preventing outages and saving resources. This prevention translates directly to operational efficiency and frees IT staff for strategic initiatives. For more information, see Announcing the general availability of OCI Generative AI.

Partner ecosystem

At Oracle, we continue to grow our ecosystem of partners and applications to offer telcos the choice and flexibility needed to transform and innovate, including the following examples:

  • Amdocs: At CloudWorld 2023, we announced an expanded partnership with Amdocs to bring Customer Experience Suite (CES9.Cloud) to OCI. This partnership ensures that Amdocs OSS and BSS applications can migrate to and operate on OCI with the same capabilities that telcos expect from their on-premise environment.
  • Nokia: The Nokia Cloud Operations Manager and Nokia Orchestration Center provide seamless orchestration of multivendor 5G cores. To support telcos as they migrate to the cloud, Oracle and Nokia collaborated to onboard Nokia’s Cloud Operations Manager and Orchestration Center to OCI. This collaboration enables telcos to easily control a diverse ecosystem of network functions in a flexible and agile manner.
  • Druid Software: Druid's Raemis platform, a 3GPP-compliant core network supporting 5G SA, NSA, and 4G, was fully tested and validated on OCI, providing enterprise customers and operators a robust turnkey solution to build private networks. Oracle and Druid demonstrated that the deployment and operation of Druid’s core can be fully automated across OCI’s public cloud regions and distributed cloud solutions, allowing for rapid deployment of private networks anywhere in the world.
  • F5: Oracle and F5 onboarded and validated F5’s BIG-IP Next Service Proxy for Kubernetes (SPK) solution on OCI and performed a POC to seamlessly integrate SPK container ingress and egress into the OCI platform, unlocking a new level of scale, security, efficiency, and effectiveness for cloud native telcos.
  • Heavy.AI: OCI and Heavy.AI partnered to onboard HeavyRF to OCI, enabling telcos to plan and manage their network using AI, advanced analytics, and digital twins. This solution takes advantage of a broad array of NVIDIA GPU-based Compute instances on OCI and provides deep business insights by simulating optimal 5G radio deployments, predicting and preventing churn, and providing real-time insights, which offers telcos maximized coverage, boosted retention, and a competitive edge.
  • Matrixx: Oracle and MATRIXX Software partnered to validate the MATRIXX telco digital monetization solution on OCI. In support of a major telco, the partnership offers the flexibility of the MATRIXX cloud native, real-time monetization architecture and showcases the advantages of OCI.
  • Enea: Oracle and Enea recently completed the certification of Enea’s cloud native solutions for subscriber data management (SDM), Stratum (5G UDR and UDSF), and Subscription Manager (5G UDM and AUSF) on OCI. With these solutions available on OCI, customers now have the option to deploy Enea’s reliable and resilient SDM on OCI’s carrier-grade platform.
  • Truminds Software Systems: Announced in early 2023, Oracle and Truminds collaborated to bring TruCore UPF to OCI. TruCore is an industry proven, cloud native 5G packet core solution, readily available for customers to deploy from the OCI Marketplace.
  • Kontron: Oracle and Kontron have validated Kontron's cutting-edge 5G Core, deployed on OCI, for private mobile connectivity. This dynamic solution harnesses the combined strengths of cloud computing and cutting-edge networking technologies to deliver unparalleled performance, scalability, and flexibility.

Conclusion

This past year has been a whirlwind of progress for Oracle and our telco partners. We’ve powered multivendor 5G cores, automated private networks, and unlocked smarter network management with cutting-edge AI. Now, we’re shaping the future of cloud and telecommunications.

But our journey doesn’t end here. Our expanded distributed cloud offerings provide unparalleled adaptability, our telco cloud solutions are driving concrete business outcomes, and our thriving partner ecosystem continues to grow. There’s much more to come!

Are you ready to unlock the full potential of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure for your telco business? Let’s explore together

Himanshu Shukla

Senior Principal Product Manager, OCI Development Product Management


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