Speaking yesterday at the JPMorgan Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference, Ralph de la Vega, vice chairman of AT&T Business Solutions and AT&T International, said the company is going to launch a global service using SDN that will hit 63 countries at the same time on the same day.
De la Vega declined to name the service or provide further details, but he did say that if the company was using a physical network to launch the same service, it would be “unlikely” that it would be able launch in multiple countries at the same time.
“We now feel like we have totally transformed our product-set on business services to be software defined so that they can be provisioned on-demand,” he said.
AT&T executives have said the company will have approximately 70 to 75 percent of its network functions virtualized by 2020.
De la Vega also touted the fact that by using SDN, AT&T will be able to make new services as profitable as older services. “We made a good profit on the old services. But that’s on old technology. The new technology gives us a chance to operate our network better, to make better margins, and at the same time give our customers a better deal.”
AT&T has been touting its Network-on-Demand SDN-based service, which is available in more than 170 cities nationwide, for its ability to help customers provision bandwidth on the fly by using a portal. In the past, increasing or decreasing bandwidth was a time-intensive process.
De la Vega noted that these services, which he calls strategic service revenue are becoming a bigger part of the Business Services Group’s total revenue. He said that currently about 33 percent to 34 percent of total revenues are from this category, and he expects that to hit 50 percent.
In the first quarter, AT&T reported that its strategic business services revenue was $2.8 billion, up nearly $250 million from the previous quarter
This isn’t the first time AT&T has dropped hints about its plans to expand its portfolio of on-demand services. Late last year at the GEN15 conference, an AT&T executive said the company was about to roll out a managed Internet on Demand service. At the time, the company said it was testing the service and that it would have a virtualized CPE.