INFOGRAPHIC: Key Findings from Current Analysis’ 2015 Carrier SDN/NFV Survey

Jason Marcheck

Jason Marcheck

Summary Bullets:

  • In 2015, Current Analysis surveyed 100 decision makers at network operators regarding challenges facing network deployments, what they need most from their vendors, and which suppliers they view most favorably.
  • Although a key focus of vendor messaging in 2015 was helping operators to operationalize SDN/NFV, operators are facing more fundamental questions standing in the way of their decision to fully embrace network virtualization: uncertain ROI.
  • When asked what one thing operators feel the SDN/NFV supplier community is not adequately addressing, VNF performance dominated the responses. A word cloud below summarizes the key responses, with the size of each word corresponding to the frequency in which they appeared in the response results.
  • Cisco and Huawei have topped SDN/NFV vendor perception results for the past several years. However, IT-oriented suppliers – namely HP and IBM – made up considerable ground in 2015, now ranking closely behind Cisco and Huawei as top perceived SDN/NFV suppliers.
  • Ericsson also made a considerable jump in perception to round out the ‘Top 5’ in terms of best perceived vendors in the survey.

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

TM Forum Live! 2015: NFV MANO ‘Thick Lines and Thin Interfaces’

David Snow

David Snow

Summary Bullets:

  • The ETSI NFV MANO model currently suffers from too rigid functional decomposition and too light interface definition; however, there’s plenty of innovation around to help.
  • Vendors shouldn’t be naïve in claiming vIMS multi-vendor interoperability based solely on 3GPP conformance; NFV introduces a very challenging vertical dimension.

One of the main takeaways from our coverage of TM Forum Live! 2015 in sunny Nice earlier this month was around the (im)maturity of the ETSI NFV MANO stack. In short, the ETSI MANO model has been described as having “boxes which are too thick” (defining some functions and omitting others) and “interfaces which are too thin” (lack of implementable interfaces to support multivendor interworking). Read more of this post

Alcatel-Lucent Surpasses 300 Million DSL Ports in Its Drive to Connect the World

Erik Keith

Erik Keith

Summary Bullets:

  • Alcatel-Lucent’s 300 million-DSL port shipment benchmark highlights the company’s long-time commitment to the wireline broadband market, including multiple evolutions of DSL that have led to groundbreaking technologies such as VDSL vectoring, Vplus and G.fast.
  • While this achievement is worthy of celebration, Alcatel-Lucent will continue to leverage its extensive product R&D resources, including Bell Laboratories, to develop and deliver even more powerful, higher-speed wireline access technologies to address evolving operator service imperatives such as 4KTV.

The first quarter of 2015 saw Alcatel-Lucent surpass an important, and impressive, milestone: 300 million total DSL port shipments. But, unlike McDonalds’ ubiquitous fast food signage has highlighted for decades – now simply “billions and billions served” – Alcatel-Lucent has taken a far more humble response to achieving this benchmark. Read more of this post

The Maker Network: The Potential and Perils of Building Block Marketing

Peter Jarich

Peter Jarich

There’s been a lot made of the ‘maker movement’ over the past few years. Combining technology and a do-it-yourself ethos, ‘Maker Faires’ have popped up all over the world, fueled by advancements in software development, robotics, and 3D printing. For anyone upset by rampant consumerism, the maker economy is a cause for hope.

But, does it have any place in a telco network?

On some level, the answer has always been ‘yes.’ Vendors and carriers alike pull together network solutions from disparate components and disparate suppliers. Yet, recent messaging from vendors suggests that we’ll see a good deal of maker-ism injected into Mobile World Congress this year. Consider a few of the launches that have already taken place. Read more of this post

LTE TDD: Everything You Always Wanted to Know…and Weren’t Afraid to Ask

Peter Jarich

Peter Jarich

Summary Bullets:

  • Given the difference in duplexing and regional agendas, it’s easy to see TDD and FDD versions of LTE as distinct; in reality, they’re part of a unified standard.
  • It’s also tempting to see LTE TDD as disadvantaged by the history of WiMAX or operator interests in FDD spectrum; again, this isn’t a fair way of looking at the technology.

Back in June, I promised to spend some time this summer (and maybe even into the fall) talking about LTE TDD. That started with a discussion of how massive deployments in the People’s Republic could lead one to think of LTE TDD as a Chinese technology, a notion that runs counter to any interests in seeing LTE’s TDD variant benefit from global manufacturing and R&D scale. A look back at the development of LTE standards backed up the notion that, from its inception, TDD was envisioned as an integral part of LTE, not a narrow, regional use case.

So, where does this leave us as the summer slowly grinds to a halt? Read more of this post