& cplSiteName &

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        ADD A COMMENT
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
NEXT COURSE
Wednesday, September 14, 1:00PM EDT
What Is Agile?
Kent J. McDonald, Product Owner, Agile Alliance
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Friday, September 16, 1:00PM EDT
How to Implement Agile
Alan Bateman, Director, Agile Transformation
Wednesday, September 21, 1:00PM EDT
What Is DevOps?
Colin Kincaid, CTO, Service Provider, Cisco
Friday, September 23, 1:00PM EDT
How to Implement DevOps
,
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
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.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat: UXP Systems' Gemini Waghmare

8|26|16   |     |   (0) comments


Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders and UXP Systems CEO Gemini Waghmare discuss the strategic importance of digital identity for operators in the midst of transformation.
LRTV Custom TV
F5 Virtual Network Function Integrations With Partner Orchestration Platform

8|24|16   |   6:38   |   (0) comments


F5's Kishore Patnam, product manager for F5's service provider solutions, discusses why service providers are moving towards virtualization and how his clients are utilizing F5's solutions.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat: Intel's Alexis Black Bjorlin

8|17|16   |   06:23   |   (0) comments


Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Accelerating Telecom Digital Transformation With Nominum DNS

8|1|16   |   12:04   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's Steve Saunders gets an update from Nominum CEO Gary Messiana on how his company is helping carriers on the digital transformation journey.
LRTV Custom TV
Reinventing Operations for a Virtual, Software-Defined World

7|28|16   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Jim Hodges speaks with Accenture's Larry Socher and Matt Anderson about what service providers must do to transform their business to get the benefits of SDN and NFV including: leveraging DevOps, introducing real-time OSS and implementing analytics.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Fujitsu Sales Leader Shares Lessons Learned

7|27|16   |   5:12   |   (1) comment


As Fujitsu's only female sales leader, Annie Bogue knows the importance of asking for what you want, being flexible (she's been relocated five times), keeping a meticulous calendar, 'leaning in,' working harder than everyone else around you, being aware and more.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
VeEX Test & Measurement Solutions

7|25|16   |   08:57   |   (0) comments


Cyrille Morelle, president and CEO of VeEX Inc., talks test and measurement with Light Reading's Steve Saunders at BCE 2016. This includes innovative products such as VeSion Cloud-Based platform for network monitoring; MTTplus Modular Test platform for Access, Business, Carrier Ethernet, Transport and Core services; and OPX-BOX+ for Fiber Optics.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX: Live From BCE 2016

7|25|16   |   03:20   |   (0) comments


VeEX's Senior Director of Business Development, Perry Romano, explains how VeEX provides tools to help install, maintain, monitor and manage network infrastructure efficiently and effectively. The portfolio of products on display include the RXT-6000, MTTplus and TX300s.
LRTV Custom TV
Real-Time Telemetry & Analytics for Intelligent SDN Orchestration

7|25|16   |   03:09   |   (0) comments


Packet Design CEO Scott Sherwood discusses how real-time network telemetry and analytics are enabling a new breed of SDN orchestration applications.
From the Founder
The Russo Report: Driving Disruption

7|25|16   |   07:44   |   (2) comments


In the first episode of a four-part series, Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders and Calix President and CEO Carl Russo drive around town discussing the disruptive mega-changes in the communications industry and where hope lies for service providers to meet the escalating demands of the cloud.
LRTV Custom TV
NetScout: Maximizing Enterprise Cloud for Digital Transformation

7|20|16   |   04:53   |   (0) comments


Light Reading Editor Mitch Wagner talks to NetScout CMO Jim McNiel about maximizing the benefits of enterprise cloud and digital transformation while minimizing potential pitfalls with a proper monitoring and instrumentation strategy.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Ciena's VP Offers a Career Crash Course

7|20|16   |   4:14   |   (2) comments


How did Ciena's Vice President of Sales, Angela Finn, carve out her career path? Simple, she tells WiC. She stayed true to her company, customers and principles. She shares her advice for women on how to be authentic and credible, as well as for companies that want to make a real change to their culture and practices.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Cisco Developing 'Monica' Digital Assistant
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 8/22/2016
FirstNet: A Billion-Dollar Boondoggle?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/26/2016
WiCipedia: Should Men Be Included? & Olympians Face Discrimination
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 8/26/2016
Google Fiber Can't Be Called a Failure
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/26/2016
Google Fiber Downsizing Not Confirmed
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 8/25/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders and UXP Systems CEO Gemini Waghmare discuss the strategic importance of digital identity for operators in the midst of transformation.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Bridging the tech skills gap is a major challenge for service providers and suppliers alike today – and the challenge is two-fold when it comes to increasing the number of women in the comms space. Level 3 Communications has made it a priority to overcome both challenges by implementing several unique programs focused on building the right candidates from within – in addition to filling the funnel by supporting STEM and other education programs. During this radio show, you’ll learn about these programs from Mary Beth McGrath, SVP of Global Talent Management at Level 3, and the best ways to bridge your own skills gap so that you are motivated and equipped for change. Plus you’ll have the chance to ask Mary Beth your questions live on the air.