& cplSiteName &

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 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        ADD A COMMENT
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: Light Sabre
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
I'm just back from a brief visit to Tel Aviv where I met a broad range of innovative teams from companies as diverse as AT&T, Sedona, Allot and Ethernity.
Time is running out to get your entries in for the industry's most prestigious awards.
The Light Reading group is now much more than the mothership website and the Heavy Reading analyst group -- the family has grown to include the Telecoms.com news site, dedicated communities and wiki-style databases.
I'm prepared for the worst that Barcelona can throw at me.
Ahead of MWC in Barcelona, talk has started to circulate that nuptials may be in line for Cisco and Ericsson.
From The Founder
Kicking off BCE 2017, Light Reading founder Steve Saunders lays blame for NFV's slow ramp-up and urges telecom to return to old-fashioned standards building and interoperability.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Infinera's Sales Director Paints Tech's Big Picture

6|21|17   |   4:14   |   (1) comment


Shannon Williams, Infinera's director of sales, shares how she achieves work's many balancing acts -- between her role and the broader company, today and tomorrow's tech and more.
LRTV Custom TV
SD-WAN Innovation & Trends

6|20|17   |     |   (0) comments


Versa CEO Kelly Ahuja discusses with Carol Wilson the current status and trends in the SD-WAN market, Versa's innovation around building a software platform with broad contextualization, and the advantages that startups can bring to the SD-WAN market.
LRTV Interviews
Ovum's Dario Talmesio on 5G in Europe

6|20|17   |   02:16   |   (0) comments


At 5G World 2017, Dario Talmesio, principal analyst and practice leader on Ovum's fixed and mobile telecoms European team, explains the emerging trends amongst European operators as they prepare for 5G.
LRTV Custom TV
Putting Power on a Pedestal

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


ARRIS's John Ulm says a major accomplishment of SCTE•ISBE's Energy 2020 program is increased focus on power cost and consumption, including inclusion of energy requirements in operators' RFPs and RFIs.
LRTV Custom TV
Gigabit Access: The Last-Mile Pipe for All Future Services

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


A Gigabit access platform being deployed today must be able to deliver all types of services to an increasing number of devices. A non-blocking architecture is necessary to support the ever-increasing growth in bandwidth demand. The Huawei Gigabit access solution is based on a distributed design that is fully scalable to deliver a unprecedented performance.
LRTV Custom TV
Key Factors to Successfully Deploy an SD-WAN Service

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


As service providers transition their SD-WAN solution from trials and limited deployments into production at large scale, there are important considerations to successfully operationalize these solutions and realize their full potential, without adding complexity, introducing uncertainty or disrupting current business operations. Sunil Khandekar, CEO and Founder ...
LRTV Custom TV
IoT Solutions: Rational Exuberance

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


IoT solutions are morphing from hype into viable business opportunities. Huawei has the platform and ecosystem support to help carriers successfully address new business opportunities in the IoT space.
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing ICN as a Network Slice for Mobile Data Distribution

6|19|17   |     |   (1) comment


Network slicing in 5G allows the potential introduction of new network architectures such as Information-centric Networks (ICN) as a slice, managed over a shared pool of compute, storage and bandwidth resource. Services over an ICN slice can benefit from many architectural features such as Name Based Networking, Security, Multicasting, Multi-homing, Mobility, ...
LRTV Interviews
Ovum's Mike Roberts on 5G Uptake

6|19|17   |   04:08   |   (0) comments


Mike Roberts, research director for Ovum's service provider markets group, explains why he has boosted his 5G subscriptions forecast.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T's Hubbard on Intersection of SD-WAN & MPLS

6|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


Rick Hubbard, SVP of Network Product Management for AT&T Business Solutions, discusses how AT&T's approach to SD-WAN fits in with its overall virtualization strategy, explains how SD-WAN can improve enterprise customers' use of the cloud and addresses the intersection of SD-WAN and MPLS.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Keep Connected IoT Devices Under Control With Allot

6|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


Allot AVP of International Pre-Sales, Daniel Keidar, explains how communications service providers can protect infrastructure and service availability from flooding attacks caused by malfunctioning or bot-infected devices connected to their network.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE 5G World Highlights

6|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


ZTE showcases its leading 5G innovations at 5G World in London.
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Verizon Warns of $500M Hit From Yahoo Deal
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/16/2017
Netflix's Lesson in Culture Expectation Settings
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 6/21/2017
Can Comcast Beat Customer Hate With a Private Cloud?
Mitch Wagner, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, 6/15/2017
Kalanick Steps Down as Uber CEO
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 6/21/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.