During CenturyLink‘s latest quarterly results conference call, CEO Glen Post said the company remained on track to see at least $200 million in annual capex reduction tied to the build-out of its virtualized network, with the full build-out still scheduled for 2019.
Post also highlighted CenturyLink’s product lineup, including its software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) platform that he said customers were demanding.
“We’re confident that we can compete in that arena, and we have as good a technology there as anybody in the world, we believe, right now, and have more coverage than most as far as 60 percent of our major IP PoPs are virtualized now are capable of SDN and virtualized services,” Post said, according to a SeekingAlpha transcript of the call.
As part of its network virtualization moves, CenturyLink earlier this year launched a virtualized Broadband Network Gateway (vBNG) to support services using a unique design based on the Central Office Re-architected as a Data Center (CORD) model. The platform was built on Intel white box servers. But instead of relying on the ONOS Project’s template, CenturyLink went with open source components from OpenStack and OpenDaylight.
Sprint, AT&T Cite Software-Derived Financial Savings
Sprint this week said it slashed yearly capex from $4.7 billion in 2015, down to $2 billion in fiscal 2016, with some of those savings coming from “software-driven deployments of capacity through carrier aggregation and surgical deployment of small cell.”
“When you put something in our network as we’re moving forward on it, we’re virtualizing it, but we’re significantly reducing the opex and the capex that it takes to run that network,” de la Vega said. “But the beautiful thing about it, from a marketing point of view, is the services that ride on top of this new architecture. Not only do they cost less capex and less opex, but they generate more revenue. Because now the software cycles to turn up the services are almost instantaneous.”
Citing AT&T’s Network On Demand platform as an example, de la Vega noted that the company was able to roll out the platform across the country in weeks, and companies taking advantage of the service were able to alter, for instance, their network speed in less than 90 seconds.
“There is no need to call a sales person, there is no need to order equipment, there is no need to set up another connection – it happens in 90 seconds,” de la Vega said. “And what I love about it is my revenue cycle is 90 seconds. That’s a pretty good deal when you can lower capex, opex, and shorten the revenue cycle for your business. So we have now turned up our Network On Demand, we have thousands of customers on it.”