Bell Labs opens up Tel Aviv cloud research centre

cloud-Alcatel-Lucent’s R&D subsidiary Bell Labs said Tuesday it will soon open an office near Tel Aviv, Israel. The office will focus on researching cloud-based networking architectures as a growing number of operators look to virtualise components of their networks.

The Bell Labs Tel Aviv location will be led by the Israeli computer scientist Danny Raz, a professor in the department of computer science at The Technion, one of Israel’s leading technical universities. Researchers at the facility will explore innovations that help facilitate the transition from traditional network infrastructure to more flexible, scalable cloud-based platforms.

Raz said that heading up the Tel Aviv lab is a unique opportunity to help re-shape the telecommunications realm, but it also poses huge challenges.

“’Success’ will require the team to come up with breakthrough research and innovations that address the main problems in cloud and networking,” Raz said.

“However, I believe that the combination of the Bell Labs’ traditional model and spirit, together with the unique strengths of the Israeli academia and entrepreneurship is a unique combination.”

The office will be co-located with its CloudBand development group. CloudBand is a multi-vendor network function virtualisation project that allows operators the ability to more easily scale their networks and offer IP-based services.

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Alcatel-Lucent chief executive officer Michel Combes said the company is on a “journey” to become a specialist in IP networking, cloud and ultra-broadband access.

“Bell Labs is one of our key innovation engines and co-locating a new office with our CloudBand start-up in Israel will produce fantastic results for our customers and for communications globally, and will contribute tremendously to Alcatel-Lucent playing a shaping role in the industry.”

As telcos look to virtualise components of their networks vendors like Alcatel-Lucent have been keen to cultivate technical expertise in cloud-based networks and services.

Telecoms vendors Nokia and Juniper Networks have recently moved to jointly-develop software defined networking and network function virtualisation solutions.

Ericsson has also moved to bolster its presence in cloud as of late. Last month the vendor reorganised its network unit, having created a standalone segment focusing on cloud and IP-based technologies. It also recently joined open source platform as a service project Cloud Foundry.

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