Trends 2016: 5 transformations in telecom – ready for ‘web-scale’

By Ryan Perera

Telcos will take the next step and begin to explore opportunities driven by the growing web-scale dynamic, including technology trends like the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud, virtualization, mobility and video. Here are the five key transformations expected in the telecom/networking sector in India in 2016.

1. Virtual CPEs will redefine managed services delivery: The digital transformation in the consumer and enterprise markets has forced service providers to revisit their networking strategies to improve efficiency and seek innovative ways to deliver differentiated services.
Recent advancements in virtual CPEs (vCPEs) allow managed service providers to efficiently integrate a set of Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) and rapidly operationalize new Network Function Virtualization (NFV)-enabled Carrier Ethernet business services.

The simplified service delivery model allows clients to access self-service catalogs from the cloud and enables the services as and when required. vCPEs are set to accelerate the adoption of VNF-based carrier managed services, including audit capabilities, integration services, migration services, support services, reporting services and more.

2. Emerging smart city ecosystem will open new avenues for service providers: With the 100 Smart Cities initiative by Narendra Modi administration, 2016 is likely to witness a number of collaborative efforts among smart city strategists, service providers, system integrators and technology providers in India– all of which will revolve around enabling robust and secure communications among the devices. Smart technologies capable of meeting the bandwidth demands arising from IoT applications and ensuring security to critical data will help shape the future of Smart City initiatives in India.

3. Tomorrow’s network is all about software: The next generation network is no longer an upgrade to existing infrastructure but is a new network – one designed for an on-demand world. The network is becoming a software platform that is more agile, intelligent and programmable.

This past year, service providers began to move towards network virtualization through SDN/NFV, but there is still a way to go before the ideal of a fully open software control layer with commoditized hardware can be achieved. In 2016, we expect service providers will take more aggressive steps and leverage orchestration, as a complement to SDN/NFV, to more quickly manage and provision across multiple domains and across a mix of physical and virtual networking devices.

4. Security will evolve for the ‘Web-Scale’ world: Encryption is an established best practice for businesses today. But the evolution of data centers from an in-house storage compartment to a modern web-scale network infrastructure powered by virtualization technologies has brought enormous security challenges to networks.

On top of this, new regulations and breach laws have come into play. So, in 2016 we expect that more businesses and network providers will seek new options to protect in-flight data as part of a holistic security strategy.

5. Submarine networks will focus on capacity utilization: The rapid rise in Data Center Interconnect (DCI) spurred by the needs of today’s globalized economy has put tremendous capacity strains on submarine networks. In 2016, this trend will continue. In fact, Telegeography forecasts that Trans-Pacific bandwidth demand will rise seven-fold by 2020, and more than 14,000 km of new submarine cable systems connecting APAC to the rest of the world will be rolled out by that period.
In 2016, look for more efforts to improve network capacity utilization and rising bandwidth demands on subsea networks.

The telecom industry is under constant evolution and change, and 2016 promises to be no different. Demand for new web-scale applications and services will continue thanks to growing demand for more connected devices/things, cloud computing, mobility and video.
Service providers will take bold steps and invest in new technologies to transform their networks to be more software-enabled, scalable and agile.






(The author, Ryan Perera, is India Country Manager, Ciena)

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