Light Reading

Ericsson's Ciena Tieup: It's a Migration Thing

Carol Wilson

Telecom network operators have not determined their strategies for moving to software-defined networking (SDN). This makes now a good time for strategic moves such as Ericsson's collaboration with Ciena, the deal's architect says. (See How Will Ciena + Ericsson Play Out?)

Jan Haglund, vice president and head of IP and broadband at Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), told us the partners will be able to bring a higher level of competency to guiding those transitions than either could separately. Ericsson specifically will be able to direct its investments toward the IP aspect of the next generation of networking as Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) handles the packet-optical space.

"It means we can focus our increased investment on IP going forward with our SSR platform and yet have access to world-leading optical technology, including Ciena WaveLogic Technology," Haglund said. Ericsson is honoring "customer commitments" to its own packet-optical equipment, but Ciena has a superior market position in a critical area for SDN.

The next shoe will drop at the Mobile World Congress, where Ericsson will unveil a pre-integrated bundle of operations support/business support tools that enable operators to deploy new services quicker in the virtualized world. (See CenturyLink, Ericsson Leverage Legacy for Agile IT.)

Ericsson is already helping customers deploy SDN in some scenarios, such as service orchestration and service chaining, but he said the packet-optical space represents a more complex transition. (See Ericsson Balances 'Open' Future, Legacy Past.)

    I think the packet optical space we are attacking with Ciena is a little bit more complex because it hits on a larger installed base. I think that is why we see this partnership as so beneficial, because it will require the kind of competency we have, both in Ericsson and Ciena, to take it forward from a technology point of view, to migrate the installed base, and understand all the benefits.

Haglund sees two basic approaches emerging in this transition phase. One is to use SDN to control the legacy installed equipment base and newer virtualized gear, phasing out the legacy equipment as it makes sense to do so. The other approach uses a network overlay, with new traffic and services being deployed on a separate SDN network, while investment and traffic growth on the old network is frozen. "Both of these strategies are in their infancy, and operators are largely undecided on how to go about it. I think it is a new area, so now is exactly the right time to start discussing these kinds of projects."

Migration is the key to making SDN a reality for Ericsson's telecom operator customers, most of which are under pressure to develop services, expand network capacity, and make the most of their spectrum as consumers use more wireless data and competition drives down prices. It is imperative to determine the quickest and most cost-effective means of getting to the stage where both SDN and network functions virtualization will enable faster rollout of services to generate revenue and more efficient use of network resources to tackle the capacity challenge, Haglund said. (See Ericsson Unveils Virtual EPC .)

A core element of the Ericsson-Ciena strategy will be using Ericsson's assets in the network management realm (where its acquisition of Telcordia and ConceptWave play heavily) to help network operators with all aspects of the virtualization migration, including the core back-office systems.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/27/2014 | 5:31:23 PM
Re: What's next
Sam, That's an interesting prediction considering that Ciena has many other telecom clients, and if this partnership is successful, Ciena might become too attractive to larger potential mates (or create a telco consulting business for Ciena that would be more lucrative).
sam masud
sam masud,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/19/2014 | 3:10:36 PM
What's next
I don't think this will stay a partnership very long--I think the two will head for the alter if they find that together they can make a successful SDN play.
R Clark
R Clark,
User Rank: Blogger
2/18/2014 | 9:38:04 PM
Makes sense
Makes sense, but the risk is that higher level of competency might also mean higher complexity, with three parties trying to figure SDN transition.
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
From The Founder
Steve Saunders provides an overview of white box networking and introduces a new "slim line" version of the OSI 7-layer model.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
Centec on Ethernet Switching

11|26|15   |   09:58   |   (0) comments

Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
LRTV Custom TV
Delivering Service Agility in the Virtualization Era

11|25|15   |   5.41   |   (0) comments

Interview with Massimo Fatato, WW OSS Business Lead, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
Wagner’s Ring
How Might Open Source Fail?

11|24|15   |     |   (10) comments

Open source, SDN, and NFV are looking inevitable – but performance, standards proliferation and regulatory capture could derail the movement.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Lifecycle Orchestration – a Fresh Vision for Telco

11|23|15   |   6.40   |   (0) comments

Simon Osborne, CTO Comptel, and Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell reveal the business impacts of new SDN and NFV, and what the term service orchestration actually means. Together they define Lifecycle Service Orchestration and how the virtualized future will look for telecoms operators.
Between the CEOs
Cisco's Virtual Role in Saudi

11|20|15   |   12:15   |   (2) comments

Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Leads With Kubernetes for Cloud PaaS

11|19|15   |   08:26   |   (0) comments

Huawei is looking to Kubernetes as a key tool for building robust open source technologies for customers and partners, said Ying Xiong, chief architect of cloud platform at Huawei, in an interview with Light Reading West Coast Bureau Chief Mitch Wagner at the recent Kubecon conference.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
WiC in London: The Highlight Reel

11|19|15   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

NetCracker's Mervat El Dabae headlines an inspiring morning in London with help from leading women from Vodafone, TalkTalk, Hyperoptics and Ciena.
LRTV Documentaries
Why Saudi's So Hot for New Tech

11|19|15   |   05:07   |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders reports from Saudi Arabia, a hyper-competitive market desperate to embrace the next generation of communications technologies and services.
LRTV Custom TV
Why Data Models Deliver More Value Than Information Models

11|19|15   |   5.08   |   (0) comments

Stefan Vallin argues that more automation is needed to manage end-to-end services and the hybrid networks they run on, and that data models are key to achieving this.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
SDN Management & Orchestration in the WAN

11|17|15   |   7.20   |   (0) comments

Carol Wilson and Packet Design CTO Cengiz Alaettinoglu discuss CSPs' SDN service delivery and assurance requirements. Learn about a modular approach to building automated control, orchestration and management functions for the WAN that are policy- and analytics-driven.
LRTV Custom TV
Flash Networks: Optimizing for Radio Spectral Efficiency

11|17|15   |   3:34   |   (0) comments

Today most optimization vendors only focus on optimizing voice or data. Ofer Gottfried, Flash Networks' CTO, shows how improving data throughput and maximizing spectral efficiency reduces capital and operating expenses while also providing a platform for user engagement.
LRTV Custom TV
Making Pay-TV User Experiences Millennial-Friendly

11|16|15   |   6:42   |   (0) comments

The unique challenge of reaching and engaging Millennials is driving pay-TV video experience transformation that can include higher quality UIs, viewing of multiple content streams at once and seamless transitions between handheld devices and the television.
Allot MobileTrends Report H2/2015 reveals how daily online behavior can be used to discover smarter ways to profile customers and propose valuable, real-time offers to them.
Hot Topics
Samsung to Sell Wireless Networking Unit?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
Samsung: No Sale of Wireless Unit
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/25/2015
How Might Open Source Fail?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/24/2015
Sprint to Get $1.2B From New Leasing Venture
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
Networking Shines in HP's Gloomy Final Earnings
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/25/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
December 15, 2015
Virtualizing Cable Services
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
Cats with Phones
Can't Find the Phone on Thanksgiving? Click Here
Check under the cat! (hint: bottom right)
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.