Technologies2 min read

Multi-Cloud Flexibility Heats up 5G Opportunity for Ice Norway

The telco industry is gearing itself up to take advantage of the potential of 5G. The victors may not be the traditional heavyweights, but those who can adapt quickest. VMware Cloud Foundation™ is helping Ice Norway make the slickest IT operations possible.

In the 1980s, there was an escalation in the men’s shaving market as razor manufacturers added a second blade. The twin-blade glory years were soon ended by the arrival of the triple-bladed razor. Inevitably, the four-bladed razor followed shortly after, and the gains were marginal.

Some might look at the arrival of 5G connectivity as a similar gimmick thrust upon consumers by a flat-lining telco industry. When we moved from 3G to 4G and nothing much changed, as the thinking goes, the upgrade to 5G is no big deal.

This is a mistake.

5G will enable unprecedented levels of connectivity. It will establish superfast broadband, ultra-reliable low latency communication, massive machine-type communications, high availability, and efficient energy use, as well as 10 times more connection density, 100 times more efficiency, and 10,000 times more traffic. In short, the difference will be night and day.

Therefore, telcos are extremely excited. 5G offers the industry a chance to reinvent itself from price-fixated to service-focused. The winners in the 5G space will be those who provide coverage and the services and management platforms to capitalize on increased bandwidth capacity.

Embracing its role as the challenger

Globally, mass adoption of 5G is expected in 2025. Ice Norway is gearing itself to be ready sooner and to disrupt the Norwegian market. Ice is currently the third largest mobile network operator in Norway and operates its own telecommunications network and cloud infrastructure.

Ice is throwing every resource at being first to market with new services and platforms.

“Being the challenger in this market, we want to innovate and get things off the ground faster than our competitors,” says William Brown, cloud infrastructure architect, Ice Norway. “It’s fun to be a challenger, right?”

Ice can do this because it has replaced legacy infrastructure with modern, state-of-the-art platforms. The business is proudly multi-cloud. It runs workloads in the best environment, whether that’s telco cloud, AWS, Azure or on-premises. This optimizes performance, allows scale when needed and solves data sovereignty requirements.

The Ice multi-cloud strategy is enabled by VMware Cloud Foundation. This creates a shared infrastructure platform across multiple environments.

“We can be realistic about our cloud choices,” says Brown. “By using VMware Cloud Foundation on Dell VxRail, we’re able to extend applications across our different cloud environments, while having just two people run the platform.”

Operational productivity is key. Ice, with less than 300 employees, is small compared to its more established competitors. The company is aiming to be second—if not first—over the coming years with the understanding that it will not get there by mimicking its larger rivals. It wants to plot its own course.

“It’s a great feeling to be the challenger,” says Brown. “But to be faster to market than the competition it’s important we have as much control over our systems as possible.”

Ice now has a scalable platform capable of supporting new services. The company plans to substantially expand its customer base over the next five years as it onboards broadband customers from its new owners Lyse Group.

To find out more about Ice Norway read the case study.