Altice and Huawei partner to drive 5G adoption in Portugal
Portugal could be a European leader in 5G technology after the announcement of a partnership between leading telco Altice and Chinese technology giant Huawei.
The country, which has a strong history of innovation in the sector, could see the first commercial roll-out of 5G as soon as next year, with more general access targeted by the two firms for 2021.
"I believe that the Portuguese market will be one of the first globally to be able to use this (5G) technology," said Alexandre Fonseca, CEO of Altice Portugal. Fonseca was present as the technology was demonstrated for the first time this week using a prototype Huawei router.
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According to Reuters, Wednesday's demonstration came off the back of two years of stringent testing away from the public eye. Altice’s fiber networks, which will help deliver the 5G service, cover 4.3mn homes in Portugal out of a total of 5.3mn.
Both Europe's leading telcos and major countries are competing in the race to introduce 5G technology, a network system that is set to revolutionise connectivity on an industrial scale. Last month, the UK division of Vodafone named seven cities that it will make 5G trial areas later this year, while Huawei also recently partnered with TIM to build Italy's first 5G infrastructure.
According to a recent report from CCS Insight, however, western Europe continues to trail both the United States and Asia in the way of 5G adoption, as Business Chief reported in April.
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”