From SDN/NFV to Fibre Cut Protection, the Hottest Trends for Global Telco Providers

May 30, 2016

Jeremiah CaronJeremiah Caron, Senior Vice President – Analysis, Current Analysis asked: What are the challenges for telcos? We worry about them! But they are making money – he gave plenty of example of very profitable telcos – but what challenges do they face?
Operators do understand the importance of SDN/NFV but there’s not much urgency. They want to grow the top line not just reduce costs. The biggest challenge is a lack of corporate focus – can upfront costs of SDN be justified? Also analytics – can they monetise all the data they collect? There are not many interesting moneymaking cases yet – so it’s early days.
But from the cloud user’s perspective, the telco is not a priority. With respect to mobility, telcos are not focused much on this in consumer space, they are focused more on B2B. And no-one focused yet on 5G standards. With the IoT there are lots of opportunities – but where do you start?
Andy Solterbeck, Regional Director – APAC, Cylance, asked: can telcos truly innovate? They need to develop new business models but no-one knows what the look like. They need to be nimble when they’ve always been about long term investments and sweating them.
Matt Allcoat, Chief Architect, Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa & Turkey, BT Global Services, said we work with top F1 teams. We their run LANs, data processing, and data transmission to the back end in UK. It’s all about doing it for the customer from the front end.
Helen Wong, Director, Partner & Product Strategy Asia Pacific, Verizon, said it’s about connecting to the customer at the business level.
Caron noted that some telcos such as are BT moving into content delivery.
Gint Atkinson, Vice President – Head, Technology Asia, Colt Technology Services Co., Ltd, said we used to focus on niche markets such as the financial sector with high frequency trading with high performance storage and compute etc. It was very capital intensive. It also led us from low latency services into ultra-high capacity services for cloud providers. But telcos have massive investments into resources, eg dark fibre, they need to squeeze every bit of money out of those assets.
As example is gaming companies who need servers with hundreds of thousands of users who need low latency globally. So this needs a set of services providers who work together using, for example, redundant ETREE services. The connectivity provider needs to reach all the way into the cloud, which means working with cloud providers and their APIs.
Stephen Tsang, Head of Managed Services and Enterprise Architects, Telstra, asked about the impact of SDN. Many of our customers are mining companies – some of whom have lost $10b of business. This feeds back to suppliers. So we’ve pulled items such as SDN/NFV forward very quickly. Wrapping it into a business driver is the challenge. Cost savings are around operations and mining companies are becoming tech companies too, just like finance companies. So they value us in a different way.
Frank Wiener, VP Marketing, Wedge Networks, asked who is responsible for security – the network provider? Network security is the user responsibility, you can’t assume the service provider will deliver security. He noted that adding a security service can add stickiness and revenue.
Solterbeck said security should come from the carrier as they have visibility into all the data. They can make money out of this – it surprises me they aren’t doing more of this.
Helen Wong, Verizon, said we are moving into virtual functions service for private clouds. We have cut down the number of vendors for VMS servers to two. WAN optimisation is our second priority after security – then threat monitoring and load balancing.
Matt Allcoat, BT, said there’s a great opportunity to provide OTT services such as security. We’ve also entered TV and mobile in the UK. Need to collaborate with other providers to make networks that give more customers what they want.
Wiener said there’s a logical extension to go from data to security – then offer it to others who aren’t going through your network.
Tsang said we know more about our customers than most utilities.
Courtesy: NetEvents

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