Light Reading
It's time to focus on the software-defined networking (SDN) needs of mobile operators.

Addressing the Needs of Mobile & Wireless Networks Through SDN

Dan Pitt
Column
Dan Pitt
2/6/2014
50%
50%

I recently developed a list of software-defined networking (SDN) predictions for 2014, and I placed the increasing role of telecom companies near the top of the list.

I strongly believe that this year, telco service providers will help drive SDN uptake. For example, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s Domain 2.0 announcement, perhaps the defining SDN announcement of 2013, called specifically for SDN and NFV (network functions virtualization) support and included demands for the separation of hardware and software. (See AT&T Puts SDN/NFV in Driver's Seat.)

Clearly, industry interest in the application of OpenFlow-based SDN technologies to wireless and mobile networks has increased significantly since the founding of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) in 2011.

Challenges faced by mobile and wireless networks include growth in mobile data, the need to simultaneously operate over multiple wireless technologies, and the rapid evolution of the mobile services market. Due to their existing separation of control and data planes, wireless and mobile networks are ready candidates for OpenFlow's enabling of scalable solutions. However, there has yet to be a full exploration of these networks' requirements. To address this need, ONF has announced a new Wireless and Mobile Working Group. (See ONF Group to Explore SDN in LTE.)

Initially, our explorations into wireless and mobile use cases for SDN began as a project in our Market Education Committee (MEC). Under the leadership of Orange's Christos Kolias and co-authored by Huawei's Serge Manning (now the chair of the Wireless and Mobile Working Group), an ONF solution brief, published in September 2013, explored motivations and applications of OpenFlow-enabled SDN for mobile and wireless networks. Considering service provider and vendor interest in this topic was so strong, we decided to form an ONF Discussion Group shortly thereafter to continue the conversation and explore the use cases for wireless and mobile network use of open SDN technology, with deeper technology considerations.

This group, led by Kolias along with Manning, identified an initial sample of 17 wireless and mobile use cases to be addressed. The group then drafted a charter to become an official ONF Working Group. The typical Working Group charter is around four to five pages long, but because of their considerable work in identifying use cases, this particular charter included nine pages of information -- shortened from 55 pages(!) -- to focus the efforts of the group on the highest-impact situations first. If that isn't a compelling case to become a Working Group, then I don't know what is.

The Wireless and Mobile Working Group was thereby chartered in October 2013, and we formally announced the group along with chair Serge Manning in January 2014. Over 260 representatives from more than 60 member companies participate in the Working Group, including end users and operators. The reception of and industry reactions to the establishment of this ONF Working Group have only vindicated our decision to dedicate time and effort to further explore relevant use cases and architectural frameworks for wireless and mobile.

Manning brings more than two decades of experience in the telecom industry as chair of the Wireless and Mobile Working Group. He is currently senior manager of corporate standards at Huawei, and previously held positions within both the vendor and operator communities, including software development, systems architecture, and technology evaluation. ONF is always grateful that its members devote such top talent to our activities.

Ultimately, the Wireless and Mobile Working Group aims to foster the adoption of SDN technologies for wireless and mobile network domains, encouraging innovative solutions and improving the speed at which products address the requirements of the market. Specifically, the group will focus its 2014 efforts on three particular use case categories: wireless transport networks, cellular access networks, and enterprise networks. Information gathered from our research into these use cases will be available to the public shortly. We are at present addressing the architectural frameworks that will encompass different elements of OpenFlow-based or OpenFlow-oriented wireless and mobile network domains. Once this work is finished, we will release a summary document to the public, and the group will address additional use cases later on.

Additionally, the group will work with other ONF Working Groups to generate OpenFlow specifications, ensuring that all wireless and mobile work is harmonized with additional OpenFlow development. By the end of 2014, we hope to see proofs of concept or feature demos from member companies -- in alignment with our goal of producing real, actual results from our work.

For additional information about the ONF Wireless and Mobile Working Group, including the group's charter document, please visit this page.

— Dan Pitt, Executive Director, Open Networking Foundation

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Ronda2
50%
50%
Ronda2,
User Rank: Light Beer
2/10/2014 | 1:11:59 AM
Try this one
You may try RavPower 5-in-1 filehub as I do. 
More Blogs from Column
Is your network built on 'The Old IP,' or are you part of 'The New IP' revolution?
Carriers are being left out of purchases made on mobile phones, but they have the opportunity to get back in the value chain for both physical and virtual buys.
The Internet of Things (IoT) will provide a major challenge for network operators, but SDN and NFV can help.
With the high cost of achieving carrier-grade networks, is high availability good enough?
Open is possible, definable and important, because an environment of freedom is a superior construct.
Flash Poll
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
IHS Analyst Discusses eLTE at CCW 2014

9|10|14   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Thomas Lynch, associate director of critical communications at IHS Technology, talks about broadband in critical communications.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
TCAA on Huawei eLTE: A Broadband Solution for Mission-Critical Communications

9|10|14   |   2:29   |   (0) comments


At CCW2014 in Singapore, the TCCA's Phil Kidner talks about the importance of broadband data for critical communications.
LRTV Custom TV
Spotlight on Cisco: SDN for Optical Networks

9|8|14   |   9:27   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Greg Nehib talks OpenFlow and more on the 'Software-Defined Networking for Optical Networks' panel at the Big Telecom Event in June 2014.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Evolved Programmable Network (EPN)

9|8|14   |   4:05   |   (0) comments


A look at the various demos Cisco showed at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event highlighting Cisco's EPN innovation and how SDN and NFV technologies are enabling a variety of new services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Future of Ultra-Broadband, With Kevin Kelly (UBBF2014)

9|5|14   |   1:13   |   (0) comments


If you think the technological changes we've seen up to now are astounding, just wait until you see what the future has in store. Discuss upcoming breakthroughs with Kevin Kelly, Founding Executive Editor of Wired Magazine, at the Huawei Ultra-Broadband Forum on September 24.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Inaugural Optical Innovation Forum in Nice

9|2|14   |     |   (0) comments


More than 170 attendees from network operators, service providers, analyst firms, and component companies from around the world convened in Nice in June for the inaugural Optical Innovation Forum, co-produced by Huawei and Light Reading.
Wagner’s Ring
Data Centers Drive Telcos Into the Future

8|28|14   |   2:20   |   (2) comments


Data centers are at the heart of key trends driving telecom -- network virtualization, the drive for increased agility, and the need to compete with OTT providers.
LRTV Custom TV
Why SPs Should Consider Cisco's EPN

8|27|14   |   5:40   |   (0) comments


Sultan Dawood from Cisco discusses Cisco's EPN, which enables SPs to build agile and programmable networks delivering new network virtualized services using Cisco's Evolved Services Platform (ESP).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Showcase @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   2.56   |   (0) comments


SoftCOM is Huawei's framework for telecom business and network transformation. Haofei Liu, Solution Marketing Manager, Carrier Business Group, Huawei, showcases Huawei's SoftCOM architecture in this video.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei @ BTE 2014: Director of Integrated Solutions on SoftCOM & NFV Monetization

8|26|14   |   4.43   |   (0) comments


Libin Dai, Director of Integrated Solutions, Carrier Business Group, discusses Huawei's SoftCOM and NFV monetization. Huawei believes that NFV monetization should be service-driven rather than network-driven, and that operators should have network transformation, service transformation and a compatible and collaborative ecosystem in place in order to deploy NFV.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei @ BTE 2014: Director of US NFV Lab on CloudEdge & the Future of NFV

8|26|14   |   4.06   |   (0) comments


Sean Chen, Director of US NFV Lab at Huawei, discusses Huawei's new approach to NFV in open collaboration. Huawei believes that through Proof of Concept tests, it could help operators learn and communicate with the industry more effectively. Sean believes that successful implementation of NFV should have its values reaching to end users and discusses how Huawei's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Highlights @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   3.34   |   (0) comments


At the Big Telecom Event in Chicago Huawei showcases its high-level strategy, the SoftCOM architecture, which helps operators reduce the cost of ownership of their network infrastructure and generate additional revenue in the ICT service environment. Huawei showcases over 30 pilot programs from across the globe, focusing on the industry-leading commercial ...
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
A survey conducted by Vasona Networks suggests that 72% of mobile users expect good performance all the time, and they'll blame the network operator when it's not up to par.
Today's Cartoon
Vacation Special Caption Competition Click Here
Latest Comment
Hot Topics
Introducing 'The New IP'
Stephen Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 9/11/2014
Glimpsing the Self-Driving Car
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/12/2014
AT&T to Launch WiFi Calling in 2015
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/12/2014
AT&T: We'll Bundle Fixed Wireless & DirecTV
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 9/15/2014
New NFV Forum Focused on Interoperability
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/16/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed