MWC 2015: The “Same but Different” from MWC 2014: Time For More NFV Vendor Differentiation
February 18, 2015 Leave a comment
- Mobile World Congress will once again be dominated with the move to NFV-based architectures, but this year we’ll see far more differentiation between vendors
- “Older” technologies like IMS and DPI are finding new momentum and application in this brave new world; every IP-based technology has a part to play
It’s the time of year once more when Mobile World Congress dominates the telecoms industry landscape. It’s hard to maintain “business as usual” while constantly buzzed by frantic attempts to arrange and re-arrange meetings as companies vie for airtime with customers, prospects, analysts and press during four days of feverish networking.
However, it’s good to take a step back and formulate what we might expect to see in the IP Services Infrastructure (IPSI) segment of the market. Here’s a few of them:
- The Resurgence of IMS. While IMS may be “old” news there’s no doubt about a new spring in its step. VoLTE gave it new momentum only to be followed closely by VoWiFi and the trend for some Cellphone Start-Ups Use Wi-Fi First to Handle Calls and Take On Rivals. On top of that, the impending “death of the PSTN” in 2017/18 is focusing minds and means that this often dubbed “antiquated” technology framework still has plenty going for it.
- The Differentiation of NFV Management and Network Orchestration (MANO). Although NFV MANO isn’t strictly part of the IPSI patch, there’s no way of avoiding it as the virtualization of the network control plane, notably IMS, is a favorite target for nearer-term NFV implementations. Here, there’s a classic battle for mind share being fought between the traditional network players and the OSS/BSS community on the basis of capability and differentiation. Here’s the latest in the salvo of exchanges between protagonists on both sides: Oracle Communications Network Service Orchestration Solution Helps Communications Service Providers Accelerate and Optimize Service Deployments in Virtualized Network Environments (Current Analysis take here) and Nokia Networks expands telco cloud portfolio: Security orchestration, reduced operational costs for operators.
- The Onward March of “Big Network Analytics”. You may well be forgiven for thinking that “big data” is the province of IT-based systems running in an operator’s data center, but arguably the network itself has much more to reveal. The “Big Network Analytics” term was coined by Alcatel-Lucent a few years ago but it’s also the primary focus of former specialist “DPI” players like Procera, Sandvine and Allot. These companies are turning themselves into much more encompassing “network intelligence” players and there’s also no doubt about the “scale” of their ambitions: see Procera Networks delivers over 150Gbps NFV Performance with PacketLogic/V.
And that’s just three expectations for MWC 2015, there are obviously many more. All of them contribute to the NFV story in some way or other, so there’s just no getting away it. Look out for the “IPSI Roundup” Advisory Report from Current Analysis after the show and see how much our expectations were met.