Ericsson and Nokia Celebrate Their Anniversaries; What Makes for Vendor Longevity?

David Snow - Principal Analyst, IP Services Infrastructure

David Snow – Principal Analyst, IP Services Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:                 

  • Nokia and Ericsson both celebrated company anniversaries; company longevity in telecoms is rare
  • The last decade has been particularly tumultuous and maybe Huawei is demonstrating a “third way”

A humorous tweet from CMO Barry French of Nokia a few weeks back referred to Ericsson as being “the new kid on the block” as Ericsson celebrated “140 years of innovation”. Nearly a year ago, Nokia also had an anniversary; “Nokia at 150: from pulp mill to the programmable world”.  This drew attention to a game that is periodically played between competing companies – the game of longevityRead more of this post

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

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

The Omni-channel Opportunity: How OSS/BSS Suppliers Can Unleash Operator Capabilities

Ron Westfall

Ron Westfall

Summary Bullets:

  • OSS/BSS suppliers need to enlist third parties, such as enterprise and SMBs, to partner on attractive use cases that demonstrate near-term return on investment (ROI) opportunities associated with using digital storefront business rules that aid operators in their drive to manage the omni-channel customer experience and advance their goal of monetizing digital service offerings.
  • Through embedded API incentives, OSS/BSS suppliers can boost operator goals to drive partners to adopt digital storefront business rules that remove technical and business logic barriers in creating consistent omni-channel customer experiences.

Operators are poised to invest more resources in finding ways to differentiate their services further while also streamlining their overall costs in areas such as operational expenditure (OpEx) reduction. Through defining and developing the omni-channel experience of their customers, OSS/BSS suppliers can strengthen the operator potential to drive the overall management of the customer experience. However, accomplishing these twin goals presents distinct barriers for the suppliers and their operator customers. Read more of this post

Mobile World Congress Shanghai: RAN Innovation – From Drones and Small Cells to Massive MIMO

Peter Jarich

Peter Jarich

Summary Bullets:

  • Across conference sessions and vendor exhibits, Mobile World Congress Shanghai showcased a myriad of wireless network technologies along with deployment traction.
  • Of the technologies showcased, RAN innovation and solutions took center stage.
  • Many of these RAN innovations focused on regional network demands.
  • Where the innovations showcased an ability of nimble vendors to develop new solutions, the onus is on larger rivals to highlight the value of end-to-end capabilities and proven operations.

Earlier this week, we called out a Mobile World Congress Shanghai panel and presentation focused on network virtualization. Outside the conference sessions, we can debate how big the event truly was; it’s unclear how many people came to see smartphone cases (and smartphones) vs. cutting-edge network R&D. What is clear, however, is that the networks R&D and deployments that seemed most visible (in announcements and show floor exhibits) were focused on the RAN. Given the dominant role that the RAN plays in operator CapEx, this focus wasn’t surprising – neither were the RAN themes on display at the event, with a few exceptions. Read more of this post

CCAP: Taking Cable Operators to an IP Video & Gigabit Future

Erik Keith

Erik Keith

Summary Bullets:

  • Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP) solutions, which consolidate formerly discrete CMTS (data) and EdgeQAM (video) cable headend hardware, will pave the way for cable operators to deliver mass-market Gigabit broadband and IP video services.
  • Current Analysis will provide in-depth, qualitative analysis of CCAP solutions from five different vendors in the coming months, specifically, Cisco, ARRIS, Casa Systems, Harmonic and Huawei.

As video services become more sophisticated and bandwidth-hungry, Gigabit connectivity to every home is getting a lot of hype these days. The problem is that very few consumers in the U.S. and worldwide actually subscribe (or have access) to Gigabit services at present. Nevertheless, there is an undeniable sense that the Gigabit future is now. Just this week, U.S. cable giant Comcast announced that its 2 Gbps GigaPro service will be available in several new markets, while AT&T announced that its GigaPower service will be offered in additional major metro markets (17 total) and the operator will expand its target GigaPower customer based to include multifamily residences – i.e., apartments and condominiums – known as multi-dwelling units (MDUs) in industry jargon. 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