Spanish incumbent takes next step on its Unica virtualisation programme.

Telefonica on Monday selected Huawei to deploy virtual evolved packet core (vEPC) networks in 13 countries spanning Europe and Latin America.

The deal forms part of the Spanish incumbent’s long-running Unica programme, which aims to transform its networks using the latest and greatest virtualisation technologies.

Under Monday’s deal, Telefonica will deploy Huawei’s vEPC solution, called CloudEPC, which it says will enable it to enhance existing services and roll out new ones in a timely and cost-efficient fashion.

Potential use cases include private LTE and mobile edge computing, as well as traditional retail and wholesale telco services, and IoT/M2M.

"This large scale vEPC network deployment is a further step within the Telefonica Unica virtualisation programme where a smooth migration to Unica infra cloud capabilities will be reached following extensive test in Telefonica LAB," said Javier Gavilán, planning and technology director at Telefonica, global CTO.

"These results provide the confidence needed to continue with the adoption and deployment of virtualised solutions and to enable the transformation to software-driven networking," he said.

The contract covers 11 countries in Latin America: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, and Uruguay; plus two in Europe: Germany and Spain.

"This CloudEPC network build out represents a significant step forward in Telefonica’s cloud transformation roadmap and reinforces our long standing partnership as main EPC provider to Telefonica," said Michael Ma, president of cloud core network at Huawei.