Light Reading
A new Industry Specifications Group has been created to identify the communications network architecture of the future.

Carriers Collaborate on Network of the Future

Ray Le Maistre
10/23/2012
50%
50%

DARMSTADT, Germany -- SDN & OpenFlow World Congress -- Thirteen major communications service providers have joined forces to create a new carrier-led Industry Specifications Group under the auspices of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) to tackle the challenges of building future networks that take advantage of virtualization technologies.

The aim is to get the telecom and IT sector working together to identify a "new network production environment based on virtualization technology" to help lower costs and boost efficiencies.

But while ETSI is providing the new body with a home – it approved the new group Tuesday morning -- this is a not a standards group and it's not a regional initiative, but a global body looking to communicate the shared requirements of the world's telcos. And it's growing day by day.

The group is focused on Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), as Light Reading revealed Monday. (See Tier 1 Carriers Tackle Telco SDN.)

At that point there were 10 operators involved -- now there are 13. They are (in alphabetical order):

Deutsche Telekom network architect Uwe Michel officially introduced the group here Tuesday, noting that interest from the carrier community was strong. "If this event had been a few days later we would have been talking about 15 or 16 carriers," he noted.

So what are these operators looking for?

Well, the new network will not be built from a large number of different elements with separate functionality, but rather a collection of high volume servers, storage elements, Ethernet switches and IT systems able to run applications from independent developers, Michel explained.

"There are a lot of potential benefits for operators," not only in terms of cutting costs but also in revamping operations. "Some of you will like that idea, others not," he added, addressing a room of carriers and vendors. (I think we know which ones will like it the most....)

But there's a long way to go before networks can be redesigned. "There are many challenges, not just benefits," noted the DT man. "We have to have five-nines reliability, security," and the ability to automate a network that comprises hundreds of virtual machines. "So we want the telecom and IT industries to combine their competencies in a collaborative joint effort on network requirements," stated Michel, noting that he should be careful not to say the group was engaging in "standards work."

To get the ball rolling the group's initial members, who are set to meet here in Darmstadt to discuss progress, have already co-authored a white paper on Network Functions Virtualization and now they're looking for further contributors. "It's not just open to ETSI members -- anyone who wants to sign up can do so," and the first official meeting of the group will be held in January 2013.

So can this group achieve its aims?

Infonetics Research Inc. principal analyst Michael Howard says that although many in the comms sector might sigh at the creation of yet another industry body, the good news is that this is not a marketing group. "This group has a lot of the biggest carriers in the world -- collectively they command a lot of the world's capex. That's a lot of buying power. And others will join. Ultimately I think this will speed up a process that would have happened anyway."

Howard also notes that this group is about broad network virtualization and not just software defined networking (SDN), which is "just one branch of the virtualization tree."

The Infonetics man also provided some insight into why ETSI is the home for this group. He said he had spoken with Don Clarke, network innovation strategy manager at BT, one of the key individuals in the NFV group, about the role of ETSI: Clarke explained that ETSI is a legal entity that already had a process for the creation of new industry working groups. "It was a shell waiting to be used," noted Howard.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
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 Documentaries
The Next-Gen Network Disconnect

10|29|14   |   01:23   |   (0) comments


There's a lot of talk about making networks more simple with SDN, NFV and next-gen broadband technology – but what about the complexity of introducing such capabilities?
LRTV Custom TV
Grow Your VPN Service Revenue

10|27|14   |   4:00   |   (0) comments


Watch how CSP product managers can better differentiate and maximize the value of their Internet, VPN and cloud services for business services customers, by adding premium application performance visibility to their data services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Add SmartSense to Make Your Network Ready for 4K

10|27|14   |   3:23   |   (0) comments


To make current networks ready for the coming 4K TV challenges, Huawei SmartSense solution will conveniently add experience and operation capabilities to boost telcos' future business.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
NetMatrix: Orchestrate the SDN & NFV World

10|27|14   |   4:11   |   (0) comments


Orchestrator is important in SDN/NFV world to make Telcom network automate, open and efficient. NetMatrix, as Huawei SDN/NFV orchestrator solution, has been in deployment and is showing its' value in real scenarios.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei FusionSphere Enabling ICT Transformation

10|27|14   |   3:21   |   (0) comments


Jeffrey Gao, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer of Huawei West Europe Region, talks about the company's future-oriented cloud strategy. Huawei is providing full portfolio of IT architecture and building an open cloud ecosystem with innovative cloud OS FusionSphere to support customers' ICT transformation.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Partner Interview: StorIT

10|27|14   |   4:20   |   (0) comments


An interview with Suren Vendantham of StorIT, a value-added distributor for Huawei in the Middle East region.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Partner Interview: Optimus

10|27|14   |   3:14   |   (0) comments


An interview with Nehul Goradia of Optimus, a value-added distributor for Huawei in the Middle East.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Partner Interview: Enterprise Solutions

10|27|14   |   4:57   |   (0) comments


An interview with Pouya Parsafar of Enterprise Solutions, a valued distributor partner with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Customer Interview: OETC

10|27|14   |   2:35   |   (0) comments


An interview with Saif Albadi, of the Oman Electricity Transmissions Company, a government utility in that company that partners with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Customer Interview: Jannah Hotels & Resorts

10|27|14   |   3:13   |   (0) comments


An interview with Nehmeh Darwish, CEO of Jannah Hotel & Resorts, about his collaboration with Huawei across five hotels in the United Arab Emirates.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Commitment to the Middle East: GITEX 2014 Wrap-up

10|27|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


Highlights from the Huawei pavilion at GITEX in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, with interviews with current Huawei customers.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei: GITEX 2014 Day 1 Highlights

10|27|14   |   2:58   |   (0) comments


Highlights from the Huawei pavilion at GITEX (Gulf Information Technology Exhibition), an annual computer and electronics trade show and conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Upcoming Live Events
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
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 30, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, 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
Microsoft's Skype Embraces WebRTC on IE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/27/2014
FTC Slaps AT&T With Throttling Lawsuit
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/28/2014
AT&T: Merger Review Halt Won't Hurt Us
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 10/23/2014
China's MVNOs Hit the Wall
Robert Clark, 10/27/2014
Roku Raises $25M, But for What?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/23/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed