Millicom unlocks the power of digital across Latin America with an agile telco cloud
Millicom is accelerating the digital transformation of Latin America, creating remarkable opportunities for people and institutions and bringing positive change to society. Through its TIGO brand, Millicom provides mobile services and cable TV to 55 million consumers and connectivity and cloud services to 300,000 businesses.
Millicom is creating a telco cloud, with a Juniper network fabric as a foundation, to expand mobile, Internet, and payment services in the region.
Million mobile customers in nine Latin American markets
Availability for data centers
Increase in Internet traffic in 2020
IP fabric allows telco cloud resources to shift and flex as needed
Flexible delivery of mobile and Internet services across Latin American markets
As Millicom set out to build a telco cloud infrastructure to support the rapid expansion of 4G services and provide a foundation for 5G, it quickly recognized that success hinged on having a flexible network in its Tier 3 data centers.
“To build cloud-scale capabilities for 5G, we needed to transform the IP fabric underlay network,” says Rita Fuziol, director of data center, cloud, and infrastructure at Millicom.
As its telco cloud project progressed, Millicom determined that having a consistent IP fabric both within its data centers and across regions would deliver even greater agility, along with the necessary availability, performance, and scalability, for its evolved packet core and other applications. Resources could be shared among its nine regions to dynamically handle increases in customer demand.
“The data center IP fabric project took on an expanded view when we considered data center interconnect,” says Fuziol. “We saw the value of any-to-any connectivity.”
Building the digital highways that connect people and improve lives
An any-to-any fabric among Millicom’s data centers could dramatically simplify service delivery now and in the future. Millicom first deployed the IP fabric in its Paraguay, Bolivia, and Honduras data centers, with other regions to follow.
“Keeping the focus on standardization is not an easy job,” says Fuziol. “But standardizing allows us to share skills from country to country, troubleshoot faster, and quickly translate business requirements in a timely manner.”
Juniper and NEC worked closely together, bringing innovative solutions and expert network integration capabilities to help Millicom to standardize, simplify, and automate data center operations across multiple countries and flexibly adjust according to local requirements. Automation reduces the time to market for new services.
“Working with Juniper and NEC, we created a data center architecture that is future-proof,” says Fuziol.
Millicom’s telco cloud leverages Juniper QFX10000 Switches and QFX5100 Switches for the IP/EVPN fabric. Juniper Paragon Pathfinder, a cloud-native controller, simplifies traffic engineering and allows the operations team to strictly manage transport service-level agreements (SLAs) through automation and optimization.
Millicom forged ahead with its telco cloud infrastructure, despite the many hurdles created by the pandemic. “It was very challenging to deploy this fabric in 2020,” Fuziol says. “We had limited physical mobility and imports took a long time, which made standardization even more important.”
Keeping businesses and people connected during the pandemic
As a builder of digital highways, Millicom moved swiftly to expand mobile and Internet services, connecting millions of people who suddenly needed Internet at home for work, school, and entertainment.
“During COVID-19, the Internet became the core of every single home,” says Fuziol. “Many people didn’t have Internet, and we overcame significant logistical challenges to connect people in rural communities so they could work from home as if they were sitting next to each other.”
As business recovery gets underway, Millicom is well positioned for growth. The company added 166,000 residential customers in the first quarter of 2021—its best quarterly result ever—and added 1.1 million customers for its mobile business—its strongest quarterly performance in a decade. In addition, Millicom reports that growth of its service revenue in Latin America exceeded 5.5% in March 2021.
Published October 2021