Light Reading
The open source NFV platform meeting in the Valley this week highlights some of the key shifts ongoing in telecom.

NFV 'Inception' Meeting Highlights Tectonic Shift in Telecom

Ray Le Maistre
7/2/2014
50%
50%

News that a key group of communications networking technology developers met in Silicon Valley this week to take the planned development of an open source NFV platform to the next level is not only interesting in itself, but highlights some of the key shifts underway in the telecom sector. (See Exclusive: Leaked 'Inception' Document Fleshes Out Open-Source NFV Plans.)

Open source: This is the current runaway train of the telecom sector -- and runaway trains make people nervous. They can also crash. The operators want open source technology at the heart of their next generation networks, and they're not taking no for an answer. Pretenders (those that talk the open source talk, but are actually failing to deliver) will soon be found out, and likely outed. Technology suppliers and developers that aren't truly embracing the open source movement look increasingly like they will be sidelined. And you can't get much more different from the traditional telecom model than that. (See Open NFV: The World Cup of Confusion?, Analyst Unveils Open Source Model for NFV-SDN Management, and 6 Degrees of Separation: SPs Define 'Open'.)

Independent action: This is linked to the open source trend, but fuelled by the relative success enjoyed by the network operators that set up and steered the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) NFV Industry Specifications Group (ISG). Operators and frustrated vendors are taking developments into their own hands and bypassing what would normally be the "regular" or "normal" channels of the standards bodies or industry associations such as Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) and TM Forum . The result is that developments happen more quickly, but potential industry fragmentation is a real possibility, unless the open source movement can provide cohesion.

Collaboration: This is now happening on an unprecedented scale. The industry is faced with a new challenge -- blending traditional telecom know-how with sometimes intimidating IT-fuelled developments, including NFV and SDN. As a result, operators and vendors alike are having to look outside their own four walls for help, developing new ecosystems and collaborative groups. Those that engage will thrive. Those that decline to get involved, or undermine such developments, face a bleak future. (See Let's Federate Our NFV Labs – Telefónica and Brocade Unveils Open Carrier Platform for SDN, NFV, AT&T Spotlights Early SDN Efforts, Procera Joins Alcatel-Lucent's CloudBand Ecosystem and Pica8 Enters Cyan's Blue Orbit.)

Breaking down of barriers: Fixed line, cellular, and cable may have different legacies, but they are increasingly coming together, bonded by common challenges and common technology strategies. Just look at the "inception meeting" -- hosted by CableLabs ! Not an organization that would normally be partying with the telecom crew, but now that it has former BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) NFV expert Don Clarke on board, the barriers between cable and telecom are likely to be broken down further. (See BT’s NFV Guru Joins CableLabs.)

These changes are seismic and are causing unrest. They are also unleashing innovation, excitement, and when brought together, becoming the catalyst for change in a traditionally moribund industry.

Hold on tight, folks -- this is going to be a long and bumpy ride.

— Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

(7)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
7/3/2014 | 12:38:59 PM
Deja vu all over again
It's been fascinating watching carriers paralleling the changes we saw previously in IT. But I can't recall anything like ETSI NFV in IT, where big companies band together to dictate strategy to vendors.

As for the convergence of landline, mobile, and cable -- these days they're all just in the broadband business. Voice and TV are increasingly becoming legacy businesses.
kdilbeck570
50%
50%
kdilbeck570,
User Rank: Light Beer
7/2/2014 | 5:50:46 PM
Re: Consistent with what we see
Your observations taken in concert with Carol's earlier article 6 Degree of Separation: SPs Define Open is consistent with the message we are hearing from our members.  They want a dynamic, flexible, interoperable service enabling ecosystem. Open is a technique/technology to help realize that but if one concentrates on "open source" software" as the goal I  think they are missing the true intent. Open source like virtualization, is a technology SP are exploiting to take more control of their service environments.

 

TM Forum catalyst have definitely seen an uptake in the use of open source solutions, including those for management,  and strong interest from the SP in the pragmatic results of those efforts. I think the urgency being expressed by the SPs is the major shift here. Folks should not underestimate the momtenum behind this thinking.
futurephil
50%
50%
futurephil,
User Rank: Moderator
7/2/2014 | 2:53:19 PM
willingness to change
Earler, we noted that telcos have a different view of open source software than you would have expected several years ago. They're definitely open to change if it helps their networks evolve enough to automate certain functions and create services more quickly.
Ray@LR
50%
50%
Ray@LR,
User Rank: Blogger
7/2/2014 | 2:41:21 PM
Re: Commentary is spot on
Why don't you take JUly 4 as a day off.... as a gift from this Brit.
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/2/2014 | 2:21:59 PM
Conflicting interests
I would guess that the disenchantment with quasi-standards groups like MEF has a lot to do with the perception that these groups are more about building their franchises than about getting standards worked out. That may be a bit unfair, but it's a strong perception nonetheless. In contrast, a group like IETF stuck to its mission.
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
7/2/2014 | 2:11:32 PM
Commentary is spot on
And I'm not just saying this because you're my boss This nails it- the upside and downside of the major trends that are out there, truly shaking up the industry. 

I think we sometimes glibly chat about potential shifts such as the move to open source, forgetting that it has ramifications way beyond what we might imagine at a given moment, including some serious dangers. 

And the colloboration trend is well-cited as well. Good job, Ray.

Any chance I can get the rest of the day off?
Carol Wilson
100%
0%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
7/2/2014 | 2:11:20 PM
Commentary is spot on
And I'm not just saying this because you're my boss This nails it- the upside and downside of the major trends that are out there, truly shaking up the industry. 

I think we sometimes glibly chat about potential shifts such as the move to open source, forgetting that it has ramifications way beyond what we might imagine at a given moment, including some serious dangers. 

And the colloboration trend is well-cited as well. Good job, Ray.

Any chance I can get the rest of the day off?
More Blogs from Shades of Ray
A threshold has been reached as the telcos commit to SDN and NFV – and that will be good news for some vendors and not such good news for others.
Telefónica highlights the potential for data to play a transactional role in digital lives.
Open source is already rampant in comms networking developments, and now it's reaching into the emerging drones sector too, with Qualcomm and Intel on board.
The SDN community is gathered in Germany for a few days of loving and loathing – so what's hot?
Dor Skuler is bidding adieu to Alcatel-Lucent having helped to make CloudBand one of the key NFV-enabling platforms in the industry.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Custom TV
Using Service Quality to Drive WiFi Monetization

10|22|14   |   6:51   |   (0) comments


Live from the SCTE conference: Heavy Reading's Alan Breznick explores the forces shaping the WiFi opportunity in an interview with CableLabs' Justin Colwell and Amdocs' Ken Roulier.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 2

10|21|14   |   8:51:00 AM   |   (0) comments


ARRIS CTO Network Solutions Tom Cloonan discusses why many if not most MSOs will continue with integrated CCAP, while addressing why some are also looking at two futuristic, distributed access architectures: Remote PHY and Remote CCAP.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 1

10|21|14   |   9:01   |   (0) comments


SCTE Sr. Director of Engineering Dean Stoneback discusses the pros and cons of distributed access architecture (DAA) and its various forms, which range from basic Remote PHY to full CMTS functionality in the node.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 2

10|21|14   |   3:58   |   (0) comments


ARRIS Senior Solution Architect Eli Baruch talks about how MSOs can enable public and community WiFi through 1) outdoor access points, 2) businesses seeking to offer WiFi to customers, and 3) residential WiFi gateway extensions.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 1

10|21|14   |   10:15   |   (0) comments


SCTE Director of Advanced Technologies Steve Harris discusses WiFi deployments, drivers, challenges and advances, including 802.11ac, carrier-grade WiFi, community WiFi, Hotspot 2.0, Passpoint, WiFi-First and voice-over-WiFi.
LRTV Custom TV
Advantech Accelerates 100G Traffic Handling

10|17|14   |   7:56   |   (0) comments


Paul Stevens from Advantech explains why handling 100GbE needs a whole new platform design approach and how Advantech is addressing the needs of equipment providers and carriers to give them the flexibility and performance they will need for SDN and NFV deployment.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Holland's Imtech Traffic & Infra Discusses Huawei's ICT Solution and Services

10|16|14   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Dimitry Theebe is from the business unit at Imtech Traffic & Infra which delivers communications solutions for transportations. His partnershp with Huawei began about a years ago. In this video, Theebe speaks more about this partnership and what he hopes to accomplish with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Comprehensive Storage Solutions Vital for SVR

10|16|14   |   6:16   |   (0) comments


SVR Information Technology provides cloud services for academic and special sectors. With Huawei's support, SVR and Yildiz Technical University has established Turkey's largest and most advanced High Performance Computing system. CSO Ismail Cem Aslan talks about what he hopes Huawei's OceanStor storage system will bring for him.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mexico's Servitron's Impression of Huawei at CCW 2014

10|16|14   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Servitron is a network operator in Mexico that has been in the trunking industry for the past 20 years. Its COO, Ing. Ragnar Trillo O., explains at Critical Communications World 2014 that his company has been interested in the long-term evolution of LTE technology and its adoption for TETRA.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Better Dubai

10|16|14   |   2:06   |   (0) comments


Abdulla Ahmed Al Falasi is the director of commercial affairs, a telecommunications coordinator for the government of Dubai. Their areas of service span across multiple industries, including police, safety, shopping malls and more. In this video, Abdulla talks about his department's work with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Lights Up Malaysia Partner Maju Nusa

10|16|14   |   1:59   |   (0) comments


Malaysia's Maju Nusa is an enterprise partner to Huawei in networking, route switches and telco equipment. At this year's Critical Communications World in Singapore, CTO Pushpender Singh talks about what Huawei's eLTE solutions mean to his company and for Malaysia.
LRTV Custom TV
Evolving From HFC to FTTH Networks

10|15|14   |   2:19   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Todd McCrum delves into the future of cable's HFC plant, examining how DOCSIS 3.1 and advanced video compression will extend its life and how the IP video transition will usher in GPON and EPON over FTTH.
Upcoming Live Events
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
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Analysts Warn of Major NFV Gaps
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/22/2014
Is Health the Killer App for the IoT?
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 10/22/2014
iPad Air 2 Lets Users Switch Carriers Any Time
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/17/2014
Drones Hover Over the IoT Sector
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 10/23/2014
Zayo Zooms Out of the IPO Gate
Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, 10/17/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed