NTT DOCOMO’s vEPC Launch “Take 3”: Scoring 1 – 1 in the NFV MANO Vendor Stakes

David Snow - Principal Analyst, IP Services Infrastructure

David Snow – Principal Analyst, IP Services Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:                 

  • Vendor jostling for limelight in DOCOMO’s flagship vEPC rollout has finally subsided.
  • At the end of the day, Ericsson and Netcracker came out best in the multi-vendor stakes.

Back in March, NTT DOCOMO commercially launched its national vEPC infrastructure and we made some comments in this blog of March 17 around the significance of this rollout in terms of being “multi-vendor”, “NFV” and “on time”.  In particular, we noted that DOCOMO had selected three vendors from an original cadre of six after several years of intense cross-vendor VNF/MANO/NFVI testing. Almost immediately, that statement was challenged by a Fujitsu announcement (flagging up its role in the project and fronting Nokia’s products), which we then summarized in the blog of April 7. That blog made some observations around VNFM procurement, but now that the dust has settled, what do we now know? Read more of this post

How Can Consensus Be Achieved in 5G?

Ed Gubbins - Senior Analyst, Mobile Access Infrastructure

Ed Gubbins – Senior Analyst, Mobile Access Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

  • 5G technologies and standards are being developed by a wide variety of entities and groups across the globe.
  • There are both hurdles to and incentives for these stakeholders to come to the necessary agreement on key topics.

A question came up at the end of the 5G webinar I participated in last week (an archive of which is now available).  More than a question, really; you could call it a concern.

During my presentation, I listed some of the organizations that are helping to develop 5G technologies and standards.  You know, industry groups (5GPPP, METIS, the 5G Forum, NGMN, IMT-2020, etc.), major universities (Harvard, Stanford, Cambridge, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, etc.), announced collaborations between specific equipment vendors and operators (Ericsson and LG U+, Huawei and Telefonica, Nokia and du, etc.).

I also made the point that achieving a certain level of unity on 5G is crucial for its stakeholders because no one wants to emulate the global division of 3G technologies that split the world into CDMA and WCDMA.

The question was: “How can consensus really be achieved considering the number of players?” Read more of this post

Huawei: Ready to Surf the 2016 SON Burst

Ron Westfall - Research Director, Service Provider Infrastructure

Ron Westfall – Research Director, Service Provider Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

• Huawei believes the SON market has evolved from its initial adoption phase of 2014-2015, and is poised for a market burst toward maturity in 2016. Huawei expects to nearly double its SON customer base.

• Huawei believes the SON market faces new service requirements and demands driving operator acceptance of the engineering SON, service SON, and slicing SON trends it has identified.However Huawei must advance SON Open API adoption and ensure slicing SON techniques avoid triggering regulator net neutrality imperatives to sustain operator uptake.

In recent interactions at the Huawei Global Analyst Summit and TM Forum Live! Huawei shared its expectations that self-organizing network (SON) technology will experience a burst in market acceptance in 2016 now that operators have finished cutting their teeth on SON adoption during 2014-2015. Huawei anticipates that its SONMaster solution, already deployed in 36 operator networks as of April 2016, will approach 70 commercial network deployments by the end of 2016. Huawei identified at least three major trends driving the acceleration of SON adoption in 2016 (and beyond): Read more of this post

GENBAND Perspectives16: Analysts at User Conferences – How Did They Do? (And What Can We Learn)

Peter Jarich

Peter Jarich – VP, Consumer Services and Service Provider Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

  • A handful of practices are important for making user conferences an appropriate venue to engage with analysts: allowing analyst-customer interaction, developing analyst-specific content, and leveraging the analysts.
  • GENBAND executed well on these at Perspectives16, but also provided lessons for other vendors thinking about the same strategy.

Last week, on the way out to GENBAND’s Perspectives16 user conference, I took some time to think about whether or not it makes sense for companies to combine analyst conferences and user conferences – or even just bring analysts to their user summits. You can check out the post here. More than just ask the question, however, I suggested a few tenets of what makes this sort of combination a success. They included: allowing analysts to engage with the customers present; developing some set of content specific to the needs of the analyst community; and creating opportunities for two-way dialogue and for the analysts to share their own insights.

With Perspectives16 in the rearview mirror, it’s only fair to ask: How did GENBAND do? Read more of this post

GENBAND Perspectives16: Collaborate or Die

Peter Jarich

Peter Jarich – VP, Consumer Services and Service Provider Infrastructure

Summary Bullets

  • Two key themes dominated GENBAND’s Perspectives16: Collaboration (leveraging KANDY) and network transformation.
  • Not all of the vendor’s messages fit into those themes, creating some important tensions – but potentially signaling new growth opportunities for GENBAND.

Beyond connecting with customers and playing some golf, user summits are great opportunities to “inspire and inform.”  Customers want to get the latest product roadmap details along with the near- and longer-term strategies of any vendor they’re working with.  Inspiring presentations, meanwhile, may drive them to innovate their businesses – spending money in the process.  If nothing else, inspiring your customers is one way to make sure they feel good about doing business with you.  Read more of this post

GENBAND Perspectives16: Is It Worth Trying to Engage Analysts at a User Conference?

Peter Jarich

Peter Jarich – VP, Consumer Services and Service Provider Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

• GENBAND is holding its Perspectives16 user summit in Orlando this year, from May 2nd to May 7th. Industry analysts (Current Analysis included) were invited, creating a combined customer/analyst conference.

• GENBAND isn’t the only vendor to combine analyst and customer engagements. Deriving value from the strategy requires transparency, dedicated analyst or media content and a forum for analyst-shared insights.

This week, I’m down in Orlando at GENBAND’s user conference, Perspectives16. It’s the first time I’ve attended in years and I’m looking forward to it as an opportunity to dig into some old ground (NFV and service provider network transformation) as well as some new ground (carrier strategies in hosted enterprise services). Plus, we’ve been promised entertainment by a famous “Mickey.” You can’t believe how happy I am that we’re talking about Mickey Thomas of Starship and not everyone’s favorite rodent.

Before the event kicks off, however, I’ve been thinking about GENBAND’s strategy of combining a user conference with an analyst event. Cisco does something similar at Cisco Live. Oracle does this at Open World. Metaswitch is doing something in a few weeks at Metaswitch Forum. Google, Intel, Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, AT&T and a myriad of others invite analysts to their user and developer events. And in almost every instance, we’re asked a similar question: “Was it valuable?” Read more of this post