& cplSiteName &

Telcos Turn Spotlight on Virtualization

Ray Le Maistre

The recently formed Industry Specifications Group focused on Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), set up and managed by a group of the world's biggest and most influential telecom operators, is set to hold its first formal meeting in the south of France starting Jan. 15. The group, formed under the auspices of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), was announced in October at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress held in Germany. (See Carriers Collaborate on Network of the Future.) The group is aiming to figure out whether virtualization techniques can be used to build more efficient networks, a topic that includes the role of software-defined networking (SDN) technologies. The three-day meeting, being held in a hotel on the doorstep of the ETSI headquarters in Sophia Antipolis, France, is being attended by more than 120 people representing the likes of AT&T Inc., China Mobile Ltd., France Télécom – Orange, NTT Group, Telefónica SA, Verizon Communications Inc. and others.

Why this matters
There is a lot of discussion, and excitement, about how the virtualization of networking functions and the use of SDN protocols such as OpenFlow might make it easier and cheaper to manage telecom networks. (See Drop the Fruitcake: It's SDN Time and 2012 Belonged to SDN & NFV. But Will They Deliver in 2013?) Consequently, the major network operators need to figure out just what might really be possible and what the cost and efficiency implications might be. The implementation of virtualization techniques could herald a new wave of networking that might reinvigorate some operators and provide a platform for extended viability. Equally, it could create a networking nightmare that could hasten some operators' demise. The NFV group has a tough task -- needing to remain sober in the face of an intoxicating proposal for industry suppliers while, at the same time, not sitting on their hands for years just discussing the issues. The industry at large can help by holding back from making outlandish claims about the potential for NFV and SDN. That, though, might be a bit too much to ask. — Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Ray Le Maistre
Ray Le Maistre,
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/11/2013 | 6:24:08 PM
re: Telcos Turn Spotlight on Virtualization
I wonder how much the carrier members of this group will share with each other about their ongoing lab tests? They need to figure out quickly whether NFV is something that can deliver lower-cost, easier-to-manage networks but have little in the way of proof-of-concept...-á
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading founder Steve Saunders recently visited the University of North Carolina Charlotte (UNCC) where Cisco's Tetration application is providing data center analytics, simplifying SDN, helping with cloud migration and overseeing white-list security policy.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
March 20-22, 2018, Denver Marriott Tech Center
March 22, 2018, Denver, Colorado | Denver Marriott Tech Center
March 28, 2018, Kansas City Convention Center
April 4, 2018, The Westin Dallas Downtown, Dallas
April 9, 2018, Las Vegas Convention Center
May 14-16, 2018, Austin Convention Center
May 14, 2018, Brazos Hall, Austin, Texas
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 7-8, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Trump Blocks Broadcom's Qualcomm Acquisition
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 3/12/2018
Dell CTO: Public Cloud Is 'Way More Expensive Than Buying From Us'
Mitch Wagner, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, 3/19/2018
Rumor Mill: SoftBank Still Eyeing Charter
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 3/12/2018
Is Business Voice Rapidly Fading?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/15/2018
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed