Alcatel-Lucent and Intel (INTC) have plans to bring more mobile operators into the cloud world. The two vendors announced at Mobile World Congress an enhanced strategic partnership that will, in part, focus on the further development and optimization of Alcatel-Lucent's CloudBand network functions virtualization (NFV) platform.

The global partnership is intended to accelerate the mobile industry's move to the cloud, and although there are other aspects of the partnership, the key cloud-related one is around CloudBand. The NFV platform is a critical part of Alcatel-Lucent's recently announced NFV roadmap.

CloudBand presents service providers with a way to bring cloud computing and IT technologies to the network domain. Telecom carriers and other service providers around the world have been jumping into the business of providing cloud services to consumers and businesses, and mobile operators are starting to play a larger role in the space.

Included in CloudBand are hardware and software stacks that enables the aggregation of distributed cloud nodes and provides a single view of the entire NFV infrastructure.

According to Michel Combes, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent, the last year has shown an accleration of changes and innovation in the mobile industry, and he noted that his company is well-positioned to provide service providers with the architecture they need to build their own cloud offerings.

"Intel is working with industry leaders such as Alcatel-Lucent to leverage server and virtualization technology in telecom networks, data centers and the cloud, with the goal of reducing costs and making it easier to deploy new services," said Renee James, president of Intel, in a prepared statement.

Additionally, Intel and Alcatel-Lucent will make contributions to the open source community and push for service provider testing, validation and deployment of NFV technologies.