Light Reading

Lessons From the All-IP Transition

Dan O'Shea
3/18/2014
50%
50%

The telecom industry is so consumed right now by the transition to virtualized networks that it's easy to forget that another once all-consuming technology transition is nearing its conclusion.

Notwithstanding the FCC's all-IP trials with AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), the transition to all-IP networks is very close (in telecom industry timescales, at least) to being finished.

How close? Close enough that some vendors believe they won't be selling any POTS equipment to telcos in another five or six years, according to the recent Heavy Reading Insider Report, "The Future for Telecom Network Equipment Providers." (See The New Resonant Relationship Between NEPs & Their Customers and AT&T's All-IP Tests Won't Answer Key Questions.)

The report treats the all-IP transition as something that still affects the world of the network equipment providers (NEPs), while adopting the position that there is a high degree of uncertainty about the impact and future of that transition.

Basically, we now know how, and almost when, this story will end. That's strange to think about, given how long this transition has been ongoing, and how much some vendors dragged their feet along the way.

In their defence, though, some of the vendors that didn't get with the all-IP program from the outset were in many cases simply matching the slow pace set by service provider customers that wanted to get the most out of their legacy equipment and weren't feeling enough competitive pressure to move faster.

The transition to all-IP and the introduction of SDN and NFV are sometimes mentioned in the same breath, usually in describing SDN/NFV as the biggest technology evolution facing the telecom sector since the all-IP evolution began. (See Defining SDN & NFV.)

Beyond that, many people assume the SDN/NFV story will play out much more quickly than the all-IP transition has. There is every reason that it should: Competition at the service provider level is much more intense; carriers realize the value of dynamically responding to bandwidth demand; they can foresee internal operational benefits from virtualizing their systems.

But perhaps it would be wise not to let the all-IP transition conclude quietly. One of the biggest lessons NEPs should have learned from the shift towards all-IP networks is that they need to embrace the future even while supporting the network technologies of the past. They need to be flexible enough to support the creation of virtualized network environments even while maintaining "legacy" infrastructure in the field. They can't choose to put off virtualization just because they're still making hardware sales.

The transition to all-IP has been a painful one at times, and NEPs that didn't manage it effectively have paid dearly. (See Tellabs' Last Hope: Marlin's Optical Ambition.)

The next big networking transition doesn't have to be so painful.

— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading

(4)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
yarn
50%
50%
yarn,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/19/2014 | 2:59:50 PM
Re: Lessons From the All-IP Transition
The Cloud is the end-game of the All-IP transition.
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
3/19/2014 | 8:21:45 AM
Re: Lessons From the All-IP Transition
In a previous blog Heavy Reading's Danny Dicks wrote about the report mentioned above, he cited the rise of newly resonant relationships between NEPs and their customers. Developing that kind of relationship is important in general, but understanding the future roadmap of their customers is the most important part. And if customers are slow to start executing that plan, good NEP partners may need to give them a nudge.
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/18/2014 | 6:16:29 PM
Re: Lessons From the All-IP Transition
Companies that fail to make the transition to new technologies so that they can preserve existings revenue will soon find the problem of existing revenue drastically reduced. 
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/18/2014 | 5:15:40 PM
Lessons From the All-IP Transition
Dan, great insights on lessons to be learned.  It appears that by now we should recognize that to solve the problems by our solutions is not a winning proposition.

I believe the leaders will be those who can provide the necessary equipment, support the customer in maintenance and transition, and offer new service packages that truly deliver the capabilities the customers need.  In other words, solving the customer problems is, and remains, the best proposition.
More Blogs from DOS Attack
The utility industry is keeping TDM alive, but maybe not for much longer.
Vendor CEOs make a lot of money, but we have a list of those who made more than most.
Growing security threats are set to drive critical infrastructure operators to new investment and upgrades of their internal networks.
Mike Birck guided Tellabs for more than 30 years over a span of five decades.
Pica8 and others keep pressing the argument for white box deployment.
From The Founder
Against the odds, Huawei is growing its telecoms networking equipment business in the US -- that should be ringing some alarm bells for domestic vendors.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
Metaswitch's New CEO Martin Lund Discusses His Role

9|2|15   |   11:27   |   (2) comments


Technology industry veteran Martin Lund joins Metaswitch Networks this week as the company's new CEO. In this interview, Lund discusses his new role and the industry's progress with Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders. Lund believes that the industry disruption caused by SDN and NFV is creating opportunities for companies like Metaswitch – network software providers ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Nominum on Leveraging the Power of DNS to Deliver Superior Subscriber Experiences

9|2|15   |   07:13   |   (0) comments


Nominum CEO Gary Messiana talks about the challenges service providers face in competing for a much more sophisticated customer, a customer that has heightened expectations for more personalized and compelling digital experiences. Providers are focusing their efforts on delivering higher value subscriber services, retaining their existing customers and increasing ...
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Jeff Miller, ActiveVideo

8|28|15   |   19:05   |   (0) comments


Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Vodafone: Mobile Money Is About Customer Trust

8|27|15   |   06.36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading spoke with Vodafone's Ian Ravenscroft about the unique responsibilities and opportunities facing operators handling customers' financial transactions over the network.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Palo Alto Networks on Expanding in the Carrier/Service Provider Market

8|26|15   |   07:54   |   (0) comments


Alfred Lee from Palo Alto Networks tells Steve Saunders about their new chassis-based system, the PA-7080, and how it can benefit service providers compared to legacy firewalls.
LRTV Custom TV
Global Services Forum Preview

8|25|15   |   02:36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders talks about Huawei's upcoming Global Services Forum with the help of Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan and Teresa Mastrangelo.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Infoblox on DNS Threat Index

8|19|15   |   04:39   |   (0) comments


Dilip Pillaipakam from Infoblox talks to Steve Saunders about his company's core network services.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Ihab Tarazi, Equinix

8|14|15   |   20:18   |   (1) comment


Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the dramatic changes in the data center, cloud and interconnect markets and discusses the impact of SDN and NFV in the coming years.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
The Netformx Ecosystem

8|14|15   |   09:39   |   (1) comment


Ittai Bareket, CEO of Netformx, talks with Steve Saunders about the Netformx Ecosystem, which employs cutting-edge prescriptive analytics to help solution providers maximize profits.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks on Leveraging VNFs

8|12|15   |   07:37   |   (0) comments


Kumar Mehta, founder and CEO of stealth mode startup Versa Networks, talks with Steve Saunders about how providers can best leverage virtualized network functions (VNFs).
LRTV Custom TV
Transforming the Network Through OPNFV

8|5|15   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Sandra Rivera, VP Data Center Group; GM Network Platforms Group, Intel Corporation, on OPNFV Arno and how the industry is coming together to accelerate the deployment of NFV and transform the network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei ONS Product Demo

8|3|15   |   6:01   |   (0) comments


Huawei shows at Open Networking Summit 2015 in Santa Clara how its SDN and NFV solutions embrace openness.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Cisco's cloud and virtualization portfolio can increase business agility and innovation by building a more flexible network architecture.
Hot Topics
T-Mobile CEO Plays Data Traffic Cop
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/31/2015
CEO Chat With Bill Gates
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 8/31/2015
Time to Monetize Cable WiFi
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 8/31/2015
Carolina Town Becomes First US 10-Gig City
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 9/3/2015
Eurobites: Anite in OSS Tie-Up With Nokia
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 9/4/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
September 22, 2015
Media Begins With “Me”
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Technology industry veteran Martin Lund joins Metaswitch Networks this week as the company's new CEO. In this interview, Lund discusses his new role and the industry's progress with Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders. Lund believes that the industry disruption caused by SDN and NFV is creating opportunities for companies like Metaswitch – network software providers with the agility to embrace new technologies quickly and the ability to deliver on substantial projects for global network operators.
The scene: Last Saturday, lunchtime, the interior of a shi-shi-foo-foo eatery in Manhattan's SoHo district.
Cats with Phones
It's a New Age... Click Here
When smartphones replace stuffed animals.