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Vodafone taps Google Cloud for unified network management platform

Single platform for performance management to be implemented in 11 European countries

Vodafone and Google Cloud have collaborated on a cloud-native network performance platform that will help the telecoms giant plan, build, and manage its network across Europe.

The Vodafone Unified Performance Management (UPM) platform is being implemented across eleven European countries, though Vodafone hasn't revealed which regions yet. 

The platform has been built with a mixture of analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence tools from Google Cloud and Vodafone's hybrid cloud architecture, which was developed in partnership with data analytics firm Cardinality.io. 

With the platform, companies that operate Vodafone networks in Europe will be able to see and access billions of performance data points from a single, secure pool. This will replace over 100 separate applications that monitor network performance, according to Vodafone. 

Vodafone itself will use the data to "monitor, manage and enhance" its entire network infrastructure across Europe, which includes focused investments in 5G. The telecoms giant is aiming to pinpoint areas where demand is greatest, such as cities, travel corridors, ports, and industrial hubs. This will also include targeting rural areas where coverage can be patchy. 

With the platform, Vodafone will be able to process and analyse up to eight billion mobile network performance events per day. The company said this will allow it to make informed and instant, network-changing decisions and add capacity and integrate new network connectivity in response to major incidents. The platform will also be used to manage energy efficiency and restore services after severe weather storms.

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This "global data hub" gives Vodafone "a real-time view" of what is happening anywhere on its European networks, according to CTO, Johan Wibergh. What's more, it will manage global traffic growth more efficiently and for less cost, Wibergh said, with customer data consumption growing by around 40% per year. 

All this data, which is stored on Vodafone's own on-premise data lake in Europe, will also be encrypted, anonymised, and aggregated, according to Vodafone, which stressed that authorised users will only access it. 

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