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F5 Helps Drive Telenor Denmark’s Digital Services Transformation

Telenor Denmark is working with F5 Networks on a major IT enhancement project as its transformation from traditional telco to multifaceted digital services provider continues apace.

Denmark is a very competitive market, driven by a combination of low prices and sophisticated, data-heavy subscriber demands. There is nowhere to hide. Peter Ditlev Nødbak, Head of Network, Telenor Denmark

Business Challenges

Danish telcos are under increasing pressure to ensure quality of service for customers in what is one of the world’s most demanding markets, particularly when it comes to managing exponentially growing data use.

Video and content services currently account for over 60% of all traffic on Telenor Denmark’s mobile and fixed-broadband networks, a 40% rise from 2015. Netflix traffic alone  more than doubled last year. Overall customer data use rose by 40% in 2016.

“Denmark is a very competitive market, driven by a combination of low prices and sophisticated, data-heavy subscriber demands. There is nowhere to hide,” said Peter Ditlev Nødbak, Head of Network, Telenor Denmark.

“From day one, our IT improvement strategy has been entirely focused on creating a new level of user experience, pioneering better services and safeguarding every aspect of our infrastructure. We want to continue moving away from the traditional telco space and start being seen as an essential digital services provider.”

A company like Telenor is never static. We need to move fast, and F5 gives us the tools we need to optimize, monetize and secure our infrastructure. Peter Ditlev Nødbak, Head of Network, Telenor Denmark

Solution

F5 Networks has been a key player in Telenor Denmark's transformation journey since 2015, initially to help pre-empt future diameter signalling-related network strains.

Telenor Denmark subsequently expanded F5’s remit to introduce the F5® VIPRION® platform, F5® BIG-IP® Carrier-Grade NAT (CGNAT) and the F5® S/Gi firewall solution. 

The latest piece of the F5 jigsaw – currently in the initial project phase – is an intelligent and scalable DNS backbone to provide Telenor Denmark’s users faster access and service response. 

We want to continue moving away from the traditional telco space and start being seen as an essential digital services provider. Peter Ditlev Nødbak, Head of Network, Telenor Denmark

Benefits

The VIPRION platform features modular performance blades that can be added or removed without disrupting users or applications. It also handles TCP optimization. 

By using F5’s CGNAT Telenor has gained best-in-class performance and scalability for total concurrent sessions, traffic throughput, and transactions per second. The CGNAT is NEBS-compliant and scales up to 320 Gbps of throughput at Layer 7 with over 480 million concurrent sessions. The high-availability platform includes sophisticated health monitoring, fast system failovers, and comprehensive connection mirroring to ensure service uptime and at-peak 

The F5® S/Gi firewall solution delivers more than half a billion sessions, over half a terabit per second of throughput, and millions of connections-per-second on a single integrated system. The solution enables Telenor Denmark to service more subscribers with fewer devices, reducing both capital and operational costs. It also draws on the unique flexibility of F5® iRules®. A highly customized, TCL-based scripting language, iRules allows Telenor Denmark to programmatically access application traffic in real time. This encompasses inspection, analysis, modifying, routing, re-directing, discarding, or manipulating traffic to suit specific needs. 

Meanwhile,  F5’s TCP stack boosts goodput, minimises buffer bloat, and enables greater fairness between flows. Furthermore, it can integrate with other F5 solutions, allowing for multiple functionalities, including deep packet inspection, traffic steering, and load balancing. All of this is consolidated on one platform.

Looking ahead, the F5 DNS solution aims to provide carrier-grade, high- performance LDNS caching and resolving. It is a hyper-scale authoritative DNS solution that includes DNS firewall security services for mitigating DNS DDoS attacks. Planned use-cases include using the IP Intelligence (IPI) function to bolster end-user subscriber security, including parental control capabilities such as blacklisting known bad domain names.

“Working with F5 has enabled us to dramatically simplify our operations. Where we once had four or five platforms working in tandem to deliver certain services, we now have one consolidated platform based around F5 technology,” explained Nødbak.

“This means more dynamism, agility and overall stability than ever before. A company like Telenor is never static. We need to move fast, and F5 gives us the tools we need to optimize, monetize and secure our infrastructure. The flexibility of a feature like iRules exemplifies the new level of freedom we have, allowing us to react quickly and authoritatively to specific issues as they emerge, as well as anticipating anything that might be on the horizon."