Network Operators Scold Suppliers at SDN World Congress

   David is a Principal Analyst on the Current Analysis Service Provider Infrastructure team.

David is a Principal Analyst on the Current Analysis Service Provider Infrastructure team.

Summary Bullets:

• The most talked about sessions at the October SDN World Congress in The Hague saw Verizon, BT, and Orange scolding suppliers about perceived weaknesses in their SDN and NFV product offerings.

• There is no doubt the transformation to a more software-centric network model is changing the relationship between network operators and their suppliers.

If network operators wanted to create a buzz at SDN World Forum they succeeded. In bluntly discussing what they see as weaknesses in vendors SDN and NFV product offerings, network operators such as Verizon, BT, and Orange inserted themselves into many of the casual conversations taking place during session breaks and in the exhibit hall at the event held in The Hague in October. Read more of this post

Building 5G: Mobile Edge Computing

Peter Jarich

Peter Jarich – VP, Consumer Services and Service Provider Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:                 

  • Mobile edge computing (MEC) is often cited as central to 5G core network evolutions, supporting the key 5G use cases: Critical Communications, Massive IoT, and Enhanced Mobile Broadband.
  • 5G use cases may require MEC and edge computing, but MEC deployment does not need to wait until 5G arrives as signaled by operator trials.

While it’s not exactly clear what a 5G mobile core will look like, two topics almost always get raised when talking about it: MEC and network slicing.  We’ll talk about network slicing in a future post.  In the meantime, I wanted to dig into MEC. Read more of this post

5G @ SDN World Congress: Prepare to Be Disappointed?

Peter Jarich

Peter Jarich – VP, Consumer Services and Service Provider Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

• This week’s SDN World Congress looks to explore the necessary connections between SDN, NFV and future 5G networks; with past experience and the event agenda as a guide, don’t expect any real revelations or insights.

• What the industry needs to begin grappling with are the specific SDN solution requirements driven by 5G along with deeper details on how fundamental technologies like NFV Network Slicing will operate.

This week, Layer 123’s SDN & OpenFlow World Congress takes place in The Hague. Since its inception, the event has been one of the most important gatherings for understanding the state of SDN (as well as NFV) and how the technology is evolving. Vendors show up to talk about their new products. More importantly, service providers show up to talk about their progress with SDN and what they’re looking for from the market. This is why we ran a webinar last week to discuss our expectations out of the show.
Read more of this post

TEOCO: Can Its New 5G ASSET Design Tool Ready Operators for 5G Buildouts?

Ron Westfall - Research Director, Service Provider Infrastructure

Ron Westfall – Research Director, Service Provider Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

  • TEOCO recently unveiled its 5G ASSET Design tool solution aimed at driving operator network modelling of 5G deployment scenarios and elevating operator consideration of its overall portfolio for 5G network builds.
  • The 5G ASSET Design tool counters existing OSS/BSS solutions that include 5G network design and planning tools, creating a time-to-market shortfall for TEOCO. Moreover, the new tool does not paper over TEOCO’s portfolio gaps in driving overall 5G network buildouts.

In September, TEOCO unveiled its new 5G ASSET Design tool solution. The solution addresses the following 5G network design priorities:

– Ensuring smooth transitions from existing 4G network performance optimization planning to the early-stage design of 5G networks;
– Planning 5G networks to ensure the automation of traffic offload processes and maximize revenue capture opportunities; and
– Generating 5G network designs that account for the expected effect of 5G frequency bands in relation to network site and cell densities. Read more of this post

AT&T’s AirGig Announcement: Why Now?

Ed Gubbins - Senior Analyst, Mobile Access Infrastructure

Ed Gubbins – Senior Analyst, Mobile Access Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

  • AT&T wasn’t very candid in explaining how its latest lab project works, a twist on broadband over powerline.
  • Multiple forces might have given the operator reason to announce AirGig now, before it could say much.

AT&T’s announcement last week of a new technology dubbed AirGig was striking for a few reasons. One was the novelty of the technology itself, which enigmatically promised to transmit wireless signals around power lines rather than through them, putting a new spin on old broadband-over-powerline tech concepts and posing the possibility of self-backhauling mesh networks deployed along the power grid that could deliver 4G and 5G services to the home.

Another thing that was striking about AT&T’s announcement of AirGig was just how little about it the company was at liberty to discuss. For starters, how does the technology work, exactly? AT&T declined to elaborate much. How far could these networks (which use millimeter waves without necessarily being restricted to them and provide both access and backhaul) extend from a wireline backhaul source? It wouldn’t say. How would they be powered if, as AT&T offered, they wouldn’t need to physically connect to the power grid? Inductive (wireless) power transmission is one approach, the company said, but left it at that.

So, why announce a technology that is still being developed if you can’t say much about it? Read more of this post

The ‘Open’ Telecom Application Server (TAS): Helping Carriers Go ‘Beyond VoLTE’

David Snow - Principal Analyst, IP Services Infrastructure

David Snow – Principal Analyst, IP Services Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

  • Deploying just VoLTE makes little difference to carrier voice revenues or competitiveness; carriers now need ‘beyond VoLTE’ services differentiation.
  • Such service differentiation is sparking a new wave of vendor telecom application server (TAS) offerings and openness.

Nokia recently launched a new version of its TAS (see here), positioning it as a ‘beyond VoLTE’ offering. Nokia, however, isn’t the first to focus on the ‘beyond VoLTE’ business issue. Oracle Communications did something similar last year (see here), and in April, OpenCloud went as far as to produce a downloadable software package for ‘VoLTE service development’ on its own application server (see here). Read more of this post

Nokia Enables NBN’s Nationwide Broadband Goals: A Snapshot from Down Under

Erik Keith - Principal Analyst, Fixed Access Infrastructure

Erik Keith – Principal Analyst, Fixed Access Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

• Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) is on the path to fulfilling its namesake, i.e., bringing broadband connectivity to all of Australia, over copper, fiber and cable wireline networks, as well as fixed wireless and satellite networks for remote locations (e.g., the Outback).

• Nokia is providing the majority of NBN’s fixed access networking systems. As such, NBN is a showcase customer for Nokia while also serving as an example of how nationwide broadband can be achieved leveraging multiple access technologies.

The first day of September, coincidentally the first day of spring in Australia, NBN hosted a field trip for analysts and journalists in the outskirts of Brisbane, Queensland. The field trip was preceded by Nokia’s Fixed Networks Global Analyst Conference, as well as a press and analyst briefing with NBN in Sydney. NBN’s goal is to connect every Australian premise by 2020, with a minimum broadband bandwidth of 25 Mbps downstream/5 Mbps upstream. Australia is the sixth-largest country in the world, with a land area of 7.6 million square kilometers (2.9 million square miles), roughly the same size as the contiguous U.S. However, Australia’s population of 24 million is concentrated primarily on the continent’s east and southern coasts, in the metro areas of Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, correlating respectively to the ctates of New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland. NBN is overbuilding and supplementing the existing Telstra network, and provides an open access model, allowing multiple, competing service providers to deliver value-added services such as pay-TV over the network. Read more of this post