AT&T expanded its broadband options with new availability of its FlexWare on-demand network services in 200 countries and a recently inked customer agreement with Ericsson. The offering is part of AT&T's efforts to empower customers' digital transformations, powered by connectivity.
FlexWare allows enterprises to access broadband, dedicated Internet, Ethernet and virtual private networks from AT&T or other service providers, the CSP said.
"Technology is moving forward and we are all trying to figure out how to play in a world where software is now the differentiator," Roman Pacewicz, senior vice president, Offer Management and Service Integration at AT&T Business, told Light Reading.
With this expanded offering, the telecom's open-based service now is available in 200 countries versus 153 in Fall 2016, according to AT&T. The service includes new security products such as Check Point vSEC Juniper Networks vSRX virtual firewall and Palo Alto Networks security platform, AT&T said. Previously it was limited to Fortinet security products.
"Businesses spend billions annually on hardware worldwide. The potential savings, options and flexibility associated with moving to a virtualized edge platform are significant," Pacewicz said in a statement.
FlexWare continues AT&T's path of reducing vendor lock-in, leading and complying with standards and using open source, topics John Donovan, chief strategy officer and group president of AT&T Technology & Operations, underscored during Light Reading's Big Communications Event in Austin, Texas, last week.
"You can either be an active participant with contributors and do the work with an agenda or sit back and do the work," he said in his BCE keynote address. "We are doing traditionally vendor-led roles. We are now more ambitious about being willing to architect, and our supplier relationships have either gotten better or worse. None are the same. Either better because our R&D lines up or worse because they don't like where we're heading."
One vendor apparently happy with the relationship change is Ericsson, which is using FlexWare to virtualize its network services and also is extending its use of AT&T's managed VPN.
Ericsson will use FlexWare across the United States, Latin America, Middle East and Europe, the vendor said. Ericsson will use the network functions virtualization (NFV) capabilities for enhanced flexibility, lower total cost of ownership and the ability to deploy network functions such as routers and firewalls virtually.
— Alison Diana, Editor, UBB2020. Follow us on Twitter @UBB2020 or @alisoncdiana.