Airtel acquires 25% in Bangalore-based enterprise networking company

Bharti Airtel said it will acquire 25% in a Bengaluru based networking software company for an undisclosed amount.

Lavelle Networks helps large corporations and organizations create their own virtual networks spread over several physical networks.

“Software-defined Wide Area Network is the necessary arsenal for enterprises to transform and future-proof their network infrastructure in this digital age,” Bharti Airtel said in its statement.

Quoting a Frost & Sullivan report, the company said the market for software-defined networks is expected to grow at around 55% per year over the next five years in India.

About 62% of enterprises plan to deploy SD-WAN across their organization in the next 1-2 years.

Traditionally, companies have relied on physically connecting their various offices using dedicated cabling, or leased lines.

This was followed by virtual private networks. Software-defined networks are an evolution of this concept, and are far cheaper than physically connecting different locations to the same network, while also offering greater flexibility than traditional VPNs.

“Some of the major drivers which would contribute to this phenomenal run include the need for seamless management of Hybrid Networks, faster deployment of new sites, and network cost-efficiency,” said Apalak Ghosh, Associate Director and Head of ICT, Frost & Sullivan South Asia.

Airtel said Lavelle Networks has connected several thousands of Indian enterprises from the nation’s largest financial institutions to e-commerce networks.

“As more enterprise move to cloud based applications to serve their customers in a digital-first eco system, they require on-demand and reliable network connectivity. As a result, there is a surge in demand for software defined solutions that have the agility to serve a cloud based hybrid IT environment,” it added.

The company’s flagship product is called ScaleAOn, and was launched in 2016-2017.

The service is likely to be offered as part of Airtel’s Network as a service (NaaS), a virtual network solution for enterprises.

“As part of its NaaS portfolio, Airtel will offer software defined connectivity solution from Lavelle Networks and co-create a host of innovations as part of its NaaS platform. This also aims to bring “Made in India” products & solutions for enterprises by offering cutting edge technology and cost efficiencies,” the telco said.

Shyamal Kumar, co-founder & CEO of Lavelle Networks said his company expects to be “massively accelerated” by the Airtel partnership.

Besides connectivity, Bharti Airtel also offers conferencing, cloud & data centers, cyber security, IoT, Ad-tech, CPaaS (Airtel IQ), and other products to Indian enterprises, and is currently the market leader.