Liberty Global and Amazon Web Services (AWS) are collaborating to create a Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) framework that enables developers to use and access Liberty Global’s fixed and mobile networks as a platform for innovation.

The collaboration seeks to leverage the combination of Liberty Global’s extensive telecoms networks and AWS’s global cloud infrastructure and existing developer ecosystem to develop compelling use cases for NaaS.

NaaS creates an ecosystem which brings application developers and communication networks closer together. It allows businesses to seamlessly leverage networking functionalities through the cloud and, in return, build and manage applications fulfilling specific business needs – something that has in the past required costly integration between user applications and a network operator’s infrastructure.

Developers will be able to use NaaS Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to create customer-centric propositions, which would allow businesses to be truly agile as they scale up or down their network’s bandwidth, security and latency settings, or extract vital information from the network to improve the effectiveness of services.

Through their collaboration, Liberty Global and AWS aim to create a simplified developer experience to engage with network APIs that nurtures the creation of network-aware applications on the cloud. The ambition is to identify future-ready, easily adopted commercial models that will attract the cloud developer community, thereby accelerating the growth of the NaaS ecosystem and see the creation of several applications driving digitization, network efficiencies and smarter energy consumption. According to ABI research, it is estimated that the value of the global market for NaaS-based services will be up to nearly £120 billion by 2030.

Last year, Liberty Global’s subsidiary in the Netherlands VodafoneZiggo started trialling NaaS for a range of at-home services, including connecting remote-working employees to virtual private networks (VPNs) which feature device prioritisation and speed boosts to ensure optimum online experience for employees. This represents an enhancement to the current four APIs available to VodafoneZiggo customers through a dedicated portal, which have already been used by Dutch businesses to, for example, reduce financial fraud using SIM swap and number verify APIs. This future collaboration will be based on GSMA OpenGateway standards and use CAMARA standard APIs to ensure worldwide standardization and wider adoption.

Liberty Global and AWS will focus initially on sectors like home productivity, logistics/transportation, remote care/assistance to improve people’s lives across Liberty Global markets (Telenet Group, Sunrise, Virgin Media Ireland, UPC Slovakia, Virgin Media O2 and VodafoneZiggo), with an expectation to have first commercially available APIs and customers deployment ready later this year. In addition, services such as NaaS have the potential to positively impact the environment as a result of increased efficiency.

Madalina Suceveanu, Managing Director of Mobile & Cloud at Liberty Global, said: “Through this exciting collaboration, Liberty Global’s extensive networks in Europe are leveraging the power of AWS to take the development of NaaS to the next level. Through the use of customisable APIs, businesses will be able to tailor networks according to their needs – and without the need for complex integration projects or dedicated infrastructure.”

Thomas Helbo, CTIO at VodafoneZiggo, said: “We embarked on our NaaS journey last year, starting with an internal project to improve our employee experience through enhancements to remote-working. This involved incorporating and building infrastructure for network automation and enablers that allowed exposure of simple APIs. Following this successful trial, we are now looking to harness NaaS externally for clients working in various sectors such as hospitality, building on exciting use cases from Liberty Global and AWS’s collaboration. This represents a major opportunity for developers too, who can now quickly and easily build applications with huge potential to improve customer experience and increase efficiency and productivity across many industries.”

Ishwar Parulkar, Chief Technology Officer for the Telecom Vertical at AWS, added: “By combining AWS’s cloud infrastructure and set of technologies with Liberty GIobal’s leading network assets, we will create a powerful platform for developers across various industries to innovate faster and to create new value for their businesses. We are excited to collaborate with Liberty Global to bring the power of their networks to our developer community.”

The collaboration stems from the GSMA initiative Open Gateway, a global partnership across multiple telco operators to create a standardisation for network APIs that enhances interoperability. It is closely aligned with the GSMA Operator Platform Group, which helps developers to align API requirements while accessing network capabilities, allowing applications to run seamlessly while being independent of location and network companies.

Teerna Bhattacharya
External Communications Manager
+ 44 7745117579