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Telcos turn to Red Hat Open Shift to Modernise their Network

Wednesday / April 28, 2021

On the first day of the Annual Red Hat Summit, Red Hat Inc., the open-source hybrid cloud, software giant now owned by IBM devoted hours to discuss the progress they’ve made with customers – particularly in the telecommunications industry, where it’s helping upgrade a number of Telcos’ networks.

Red Hat said its open-source hybrid cloud technologies are serving as the base Telcos need as they look to virtualise and containerise their new 5G networks, with the objective to deliver more innovative applications and faster services to their customers.

The greatest success story of Red Hat OpenShift is perhaps that of Turkcell İletişim Hizmetleri A.Ş., a leading cellular communication services operator in Turkey, which used the Red Hat OpenShift platform as the base of its new artificial intelligence services architecture and application hub.

Red Hat OpenShift is an open-source, integrated development environment that’s used to develop and deploy container applications managed with the aid of the Kubernetes orchestration tool. It’s caught on simply because it renders it simple to manage and automate great numbers of containers that host the components of modern applications.

According to Turkcell, one of the best advantages of OpenShift was that it allowed them to develop and deploy AI applications hosted in both cloud and on-premises that are fully compliant with the complex data regulations it must abide by too. Turkcell also said it performs this by offering a more consistent, self-service data experience and enables non-technical staff to access its AI Hub to develop new services for customers.

The company said it now has over 50 different services running on OpenShift that support a broad range of AI-powered applications. The services include digital onboarding for new customers that use computer vision and optical character recognition to validate their profile information and credentials. It has also created its Fizy music streaming service, which applies AI-based emotion detection to user-submitted selfies to suggest songs that match their current mood, and smart voice assistant services that depend on text-to-speech conversion.

İnanç Çakıroğlu, Turkcell’s director of artificial intelligence and analytic solutions, said the company can now bring new AI-based digital services to the market with OpenShift in roughly half the time that it could while they were using their old architecture. “Using Red Hat OpenShift as a flexible, consistent foundation, we have created a ‘playground’ for data science, making the frameworks and tools available to anyone, so we can invite contributions from all over the Turkcell organisation,” he remarked.

A similar success story with Red Hat OpenShift is Hong Kong Telecom Ltd., which said that it quickly realised that the outbreak of COVID-19 last year would only speed up digital transformation. That impelled it to move fast, and it used OpenShift to rapidly build and scale its new Club Shopping platform that enables its customers to shop for food and other products online. It also built its DrGop telemedicine platform on OpenShift, a mobile app that helps to connect users with Hong Kong registered doctors and other healthcare professionals.

“Through the enhanced reliability and flexibility of Red Hat OpenShift, HKT is able to react more quickly to market shifts and improve our agility while still delivering innovative services to our customers,” said Eric Wong, HKT’s senior vice president of technical service, operations and security.

Belgian Telecommunication services provider Proximus Group said it’s quite as enthusiastic about OpenShift. It used the open-source platform to immediately replace its legacy network environment with a more flexible one that’s based on network functions virtualisation, which is an architectural concept that encompasses virtualising entire classes of network node functions into building blocks that may connect, or chain together, to create communication services. Proximus said it used Red Hat OpenShift along with the Red Hat Ceph Storage platform to run critical service functions in a more cost-effective, scalable way that has helped to lower its operating costs by up to 20%.

Among a host of others, Telecom Argentina S.A., also used OpenShift to host its Flow digital entertainment platform that offers an eclectic selection of live content and on-demand TV shows, movies, games and music. Telecom Argentina said OpenShift has made it possible for them to modernise Flow to enable it to scale and quickly add more services to the platform.

“Communication service providers are helping organisations at every enterprise provide ground-breaking innovation while working to modernise their networks in an incredibly competitive market,” said Honoré LaBourdette, Red Hat’s global vice president of Telecommunication, Media and Entertainment. “With Red Hat OpenShift, CSPs (Communication Service Providers) can focus on tackling the industries’ most exciting use cases like edge computing, standalone 5G core and more.”

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