AT&T’s Network Transformation Just Got More “Real” – But Still Too IT Light?

Peter Jarich

Peter Jarich

Summary Bullets:

  • AT&T announced a commitment to “virtualize and control” at least 75% of its network via its User-Defined Network architecture by 2020.
  • Absent from the Domain 2.0 roster of vendors supporting this new architecture are any major IT vendors or integrators, something AT&T may come to regret.

AT&T spent a lot of time this year messaging its “software-centric network” and Domain 2.0 supplier programs. Introducing its SDN and NFV-heavy network evolution vision in late February, along with key vendor partners, subsequent announcements throughout the year served to round out its vendor roster, bringing the total to ten Domain 2.0 partners (following the acquisition of Tail-f by Cisco). Those vendors include: Read more of this post

Nokia Analyst Conference – Automation Saved Managed Services, but Will That Work as Nokia Looks to Become a Leading SI?

Jason Marcheck

Jason Marcheck

Summary Bullets:

  • Nokia’s annual analyst conference featured a heavy dose of Services-oriented messaging throughout the proceedings
  • Nokia aims to deliver up to 80% of its managed and/or professional services via remote delivery by 2020
  • While getting remote delivery right helped Nokia turn around the profitability of its Services business, it could be questionable how effective that model can be as the company moves more aggressively on SI-based services

At Nokia’s recently concluded industry analyst conference – held annually in Boston – I got to see a few things that I rarely see. First, I saw snow falling from the sky for the first time since, well, the last Nokia conference (Personal note: I live in Texas). Second, all in attendance got to see a clearly energized and animated panel of senior leadership from Nokia regarding the company’s short and long-term future. Now, this is not to say that Nokia is a boring company. After all, didn’t it practically invent the concept of Sauna? However, over the past few years, Nokia’s “body language” skewed towards being reserved in light of the painstaking company transformation it was trying to execute in order to save the company. Read more of this post

G.fast Keeps Copper Elemental for Gigabit Service Delivery

Erik Keith

Erik Keith

Summary Bullets:

• G.fast, ratified a week ago by the ITU, can deliver up to 1 Gbps of aggregate throughput to end users over the existing telco copper plant. With testing and some limited commercial deployments planned for 2015, is the hype about G.fast deserved?

• Will developing cable access technologies such as DOCSIS 3.1 and CCAP provide cable operators with effective countermeasures to G.fast and other telco copper-focused enhancement technologies?

One week ago today, on December 5th, the ITU ratified the G.fast standard. For many industry insiders, this was no surprise. In fact, it was simply the formal approval of G.fast specification G.9701, per the ITU’s schedule. However, the media buzz generated by the ITU’s G.fast approval has seemed disproportionately higher than expected. So, what gives? Is December a slow news month? Yes. Are there not more important things to write about in terms of fixed broadband? Actually, no. Finally, does G.fast deserve all of this attention? Well, yes! Read more of this post

Does NFV Signal the End of “Speeds & Feeds” Product Comparisons?

David Snow

David Snow

Summary Bullets:

  • At first sight, NFV looks to remove some of traditional benchmarks of telecom product comparison: performance and capacity metrics.
  • In reality, nothing has changed. Now, it is a VNF’s capability to manage the NFVI through the VNFM that is going to count.

While not a quant house, Current Analysis is well known for both qualitative and quantitative product comparisons, and for the latter, it uses an extensive repertoire of product metrics, often somewhat disparagingly referred to as the “speeds and feeds.” While NFV is some way off, or will never happen, for some market segments (e.g., the IP and optical core; see “Specialized Network Devices Will Not Be Going Away (Anytime Soon)”), a new picture is emerging in the more NFV-intensive zones of the service and control layers. Read more of this post

Transport SDN – Still the Low-Hanging Fruit

Rick Talbot

Rick Talbot

Summary Bullets:

  • Transport SDN promises much shorter-term rewards than broader high-profile efforts.
  • Progress towards transport SDN can be seen in the demand for agile transport services, standards work and deployments this year.

Over the past year, network systems vendors have touted high-profile strategies to transform the service provider business model through extending software-defined networking (SDN) beyond the data center to support network functions virtualization (NFV) throughout the wide area network (WAN). The Tier 1 service providers appear to be embracing these same strategies as they seek to leverage virtual network functions (VNFs) to create new differentiated services. However, these broad efforts can be extremely complex, will likely require fundamental changes in the service provider business operations and appear to rely on a seemingly endless set of standards to avoid vendor lock-in. No wonder service provider SDN and NFV seem to be so far off.

However, another SDN trend has been taking place at the same time, one that promises much shorter-term rewards. It appears the transport SDN is still SDN’s low-hanging fruit and is of immediate interest to service providers. This progress towards transport SDN can be measured in three ways. Read more of this post

Nokia 2014 Analyst Conference: Great Lengths to Show How Blue Looks Different Than Purple and Orange

Glenn Hunt

Glenn Hunt

Summary Bullets:

  • Nokia is focused on four fundamental objectives: maintaining its leadership in radio, growing professional services capabilities, winning with innovative telco cloud and SDN solutions, and extending its presence into the Internet of Things. Quality, innovation, partnering and automation are the drivers it will leverage in order to meet these objectives.
  • Nokia’s three business areas – Nokia Networks, HERE and Nokia Technologies – are aligned under a mantra of technological competencies, innovation capabilities, software strengths, its strong brand, trust, a lean operating model and intellectual property. The new Nokia has aligned these three areas under a common model which stresses operational excellence.

Nokia held its annual industry analyst conference on December 2-3, 2014 in Boston, which has been the customary venue for the past four years. This year, there was an undeniable feeling of optimism and confidence that topped prior years’ events. This was perhaps due with the feeling that the company has put the challenges of restructuring and uncertainty behind it and now has a solid, executable plan to take the next step in the progression of the new Nokia (which is less than a year old). Read more of this post

Comptel: Can It Pump Data Refinery to Oil Operator Big Data Objectives?

Ron Westfall

Ron Westfall

Summary Bullets:

• Comptel, with its new big data refinery approach and data mediation technology, Comptel EventLink 7.0, targets operator objectives to enrich and link their vast data stores to intelligent data streams with actionable, real-time capabilities.

• Comptel needs to address how open source big data standards, such as Apache Spark, relates to its data refinery proposition, as well as how it can enable operators to uphold in-country data regulations.

Comptel unveiled its data refinery concept to support the release of its big data mediation product, Comptel EventLink 7.0, designed to cultivate intelligent data streaming. The Compel data refinery approach advocates operators use updated data mediation technology to validate and refine raw, historical and real-time data into operational and business intelligence. Combined with reporting and machine-learning capabilities, data refinery aims to improve the efficiency and actionable range of operator back-office applications such as real-time network and service monitoring and proactive QoS maintenance.
Read more of this post