What Got Ignored in 2015: The Technologies, Topics, and Events You Overlooked

Peter Jarich

Peter Jarich

Summary Bullets:

  • Every year, many of our analyses get largely ignored – read many fewer times than the rest. In 2015, the topics of these reports were varied, including: big data, OSS/BSS, branding, video, SDN/NFV solutions and corporate acquisitions.
  • In many ways, the least read reports shared common themes with the most read reports. To that end, all include important insights key for telecom vendor and operator success.

Looking at the top-read reports of 2015 (see What Was Hot in 2015: The Technologies, Topics, and Events You Cared About) was an exercise in tracking what was most important in telecom over the last year. It might not be surprising, then, that SDN/NFV, 5G and strategic vendor moves (acquisitions and partnerships) dominated the list. Against that backdrop, it should be surprising that many of the same topics were well represented in a list of our least-read reports. And yet, looking at reports that generated well below average readership (25% or less of the average 2015 report), this is exactly what we found; reports focused on SDN/NFV, 5G, vendor acquisitions…not to mention video solutions, data analytics and back-office evolutions.

The message? Read more of this post

What Was Hot in 2015: The Technologies, Topics, and Events You Cared About

Peter Jarich

Peter Jarich

Summary Bullets:

  • In 2015, SDN and NFV continued to dominate our “most read reports” list, with 5G gaining interest as well.
  • Beyond specific technologies, major vendor moves – partnerships and acquisitions – garnered plenty of attention.
  • Ignoring smaller vendors or less buzzed-about technologies could be dangerous if it leaves vendors and service providers exposed to disruptive market forces.

In an attempt to provide insight into a wide array of telecom network trends and technologies, it’s only natural that some of our analyses will be better read than others. That attention may be due to any number of factors, but interest in the topic is generally the most important driver. In other words, reports about topics that people care about should be the most read, with the top analyses of 2015 pointing to the most important trends and themes of the year. Read more of this post

C-RAN Is About to Get More Serious, but No, the RAN Will Never Disappear into the Cloud

Ed Gubbins

Ed Gubbins

Summary Bullets:

  • C-RAN’s adoption is likely to grow significantly soon, thanks in part to evolutions in the underlying technologies.
  • Long term, future RANs will see a dynamic mix of centralized and distributed functions.

In 2016, we’re likely to hear even more about C-RAN than we already have. It’s not a new concept, and plenty of operators have deployed mobile access network architectures in which the baseband processing units are centralized, stacked or pooled, linked to remote radio units elsewhere. As portions of the network become increasingly virtualized, baseband processing will become virtualized, too – thus, centralized RAN will evolve into cloud RAN. This won’t happen everywhere, of course, but its use is likely to spread thanks in part to some significant advancements in C-RAN technology coming soon. Read more of this post

WiFi Continues to Shape the Enterprise Small-Cell Space

Ed Gubbins

Ed Gubbins

Summary Bullets:

  • Recent trends illustrate how influential WiFi remains in the enterprise small-cell space.
  • Small-cell vendors must align their view of technologies, partners and competitors with this dynamic.

As RAN vendors continue with an attempt to kick in the door to the enterprise small-cell market, one of the primary dynamics influencing these efforts is WiFi’s dominance in enterprise environs. This is largely what led Cisco to use its WiFi market footprint to compete in the small-cell space, of course. But, even in late 2015, after years of driving the enterprise small-cell value proposition, some players are shifting their thinking toward an even greater respect for the importance of WiFi in this business. For example: Read more of this post

How Telecom Benefits from IoT: Life and Death Security Implications

Jason Marcheck

Jason Marcheck

Summary Bullets:

  • Network security is moving from something that has traditionally been seen as being “baked in” to an overt aspect of vendor solution marketing as all IP-based telecom and IoT networks proliferate.
  • As IoT security steps increasingly into the light, telecom network operators and vendors have a chance to win business in a number of vertical markets that have been previously out of their “sweet spot.”

The other day, I was invited to hear Ethernet co-inventor Bob Metcalfe participate in a live stream interview at RCR Wireless’ studios in Austin, TX. During the talk, professor Metcalfe touched on a range of topics including the history of Ethernet development, entrepreneurship and IoT networking requirements. While all good stuff, the part of the interview I found most interesting dealt with IoT security, particularly as it pertains to securing the networks needed to enable driverless cars on a mass-market scale. (For those interested, the gist of the automotive security discussion begins at about 25:30 of the video). Read more of this post

Why Many of the Newest Small-cell Products Are Radio Units – And Why It Matters

Ed Gubbins

Ed Gubbins

Summary Bullets:

• Many of the newest small-cell products are radio units, coinciding with larger trends around C-RAN and 5G

• This trend poses challenges for the consolidating RAN-vendor landscape and could create opportunity for outsiders

Small cells, C-RAN and 5G are some of the most talked-about topics in mobile access infrastructure today, but how do they intersect? For starters, here’s one way:

Many of the most recently introduced small-cell products are actually radio units (RUs) that connect externally to baseband units (BBUs) rather than the all-in-one base stations (with BBU and RU in one box). Nokia, for example, announced its 2×5 W Metro RRH 2100 MHz in late 2014. Ericsson included the Micro Radio 2203 as part of the new Ericsson Radio System portfolio it unveiled in Q1 2015. ZTE introduced its R8402 “Pad RRU” around the same time. More recently, Huawei began promoting its 5 kg “Book RRU.” Read more of this post

SpiderCloud Claims Nokia as Partner; Nokia Disagrees. In This Public Spat, Neither Company Wins.

Ed Gubbins

Ed Gubbins

Summary Bullets:

• SpiderCloud’s CEO recently claimed Nokia as a reseller partner along with Cisco and NEC

• Nokia disputed this characterization, saying the arrangement was specific to a single operator engagement

If you ended up confused this week about whether or not SpiderCloud Wireless and Nokia Networks are partners, you’re not alone.

In an interview with news publication Light Reading, SpiderCloud Wireless CEO Mike Gallagher claimed a partnership with Nokia Networks wherein Nokia had been reselling SpiderCloud’s multi-mode 3G/4G enterprise small-cell solutions since February. Nokia responded by publicly denying any partnership between the two firms, adding that Nokia had supplied SpiderCloud’s solutions to a single specific customer and citing confidentiality agreements with the customer that prevent any further disclosure on the matter. A few tense online comments were exchanged. Read more of this post