Light Reading

Level 3: Vendors Should Lower Opex

Carol Wilson

NEW YORK -- Packet-Optical Transport Evolution -- Service providers need more vendor help in reducing the operating costs of running their networks, and a big part of that is greater interoperability, Paul Savill, senior VP of transport and infrastructure services at Level 3 Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: LVLT), said here today.

Equipment vendors have been aggressive in reducing the cost-per-bit of their optical equipment, Savill said, packing more functionality into smaller and cheaper boxes. But if those boxes consume more power and give off more heat -- therefore requiring more air-conditioning -- then some of that capex savings is lost, Savill said.

"Space and power are becoming more and more significant in the total cost structure," Savill said. "The equipment we are deploying is getting smaller and can deliver twice as much bandwidth, but it is still sucking down the same power and cooling [of the bigger boxes] so we can't use the additional space we save because our sites are power-constrained."

Service providers also need packet optical equipment to have better hooks into their operations and support systems, to enable things such as customer self-service and to make operations more efficient, Savill said.

"Today, we let customers provision their own circuit, but it's a very non-elegant solution," Savill. "So with each new vendor, we face a whole new development effort that is time-consuming and expensive. We need hooks into our OSS systems to be more standardized. We need hooks into our network management systems that are multi-vendor."

Service providers themselves need to develop some level of standardization to enable end-to-end delivery of service over multiple networks, Savill said.

"We have a role to play here as well, but anything vendors can do will help give us a leg up," Savill said.

Vendors thus far have done a better job of reducing capex than opex, he added, and that is a problem for companies such as Level 3, that support a wide range of services from lower-level voice to high-definition video.

"We have to do more than just efficiently carry a static base of services," Savill said. "The harder part of it is that there is constant flux on our network. Roughly 5 percent of our circuit base provided off these optical platforms is in flux, due to disconnects, new orders, or customers making changes."

In addition, at the edge of the network, service providers have to adapt more to customer-specific applications, and support more at the edge over their converged aggregated ports.

"Services are not going away, but they are evolving, and we need to be able to provide them efficiently over common ports, accessible to the wide area," Savill said. For example, newer cloud computing services require greater awareness within the network of the type of traffic being carried, and network-based storage will need newer storage-specific interfaces on network gear.

Any effort to deliver equipment that helps service providers scale their networks has to take these changes into account and help service providers manage growing complexity, he said.

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:35:19 PM
re: Level 3: Vendors Should Lower Opex

A typical vendor approach is to start and develop a maximum-performance-maximum-cost products. For those high-end products performance is more important than power consumption. Afterwards, reusing the same architecture/hardware/software is done for smaller and other variants of the original product. The result is a portfolio that is consuming too much power consumption.  

From The Founder
The comms industry is rallying to the cause of open, independent interoperability testing.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Tail-f, Cisco & What the Future Holds

10|9|15   |   8:17   |   (0) comments

Steve Saunders meets with Tail-f's Director of Technology, Carl Moberg, in Stockholm to discuss becoming part of Cisco, ETSI MANO, virtualization and the need to combine science and business in order to create opportunities for service providers.
LRTV Interviews
Broadband Forum Embraces SDN & NFV

10|9|15   |   02:42   |   (0) comments

At Gigabit Europe 2015, Robin Mersh and Kevin Foster from the Broadband Forum explain how the industry body is adapting to meet the SDN, NFV and cloud needs of the access network sector.
LRTV Interviews
Top Tips for FTTH Operators

10|8|15   |   02:26   |   (0) comments

At Gigabit Europe 2015, Ventura Team co-founder Richard Jones talks about some of the key business case considerations for FTTH network operators.
LRTV Interviews
M-net Calls for FTTx Unity

10|8|15   |   03:45   |   (0) comments

At the Gigabit Europe event, Jörn Schoof from M-net, the Munich city network operator, calls for industry collaboration on fiber broadband access rollouts.
LRTV Documentaries
The Business Case Challenge for NFV

10|7|15   |   03:47   |   (0) comments

Virtual CPE is one of the early success stories for network functions virtualization, as service providers are finding flexible, programmable CPE solves a lot of logistics problems and reduces their cost. But even here, Masergy Communications faced a business case challenge, says CTO Tim Naramore.
LRTV Interviews
JT Offers Some Gigabit Lessons

10|7|15   |   4:08   |   (1) comment

Barna Kutvolgyi, managing director, Global Consumer, at JT, the incumbent operator on the island of Jersey, talks about how other service providers can learn from his company's gigabit broadband rollout experiences.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T's Chiosi on the Potential of Open Source

10|6|15   |   06:27   |   (0) comments

AT&T Distinguished Network Architect Margaret T. Chiosi talks to Light Reading's Carol Wilson about the potential for open source technology to liberate communications service providers.
LRTV Interviews
Network Security in a Gigabit World

10|6|15   |   05:52   |   (0) comments

Masergy's James Harrison talks about some of the network security and data center issues network operators need to consider as they expand their broadband services portfolios.
LRTV Documentaries
Telefónica: In Search of Virtual Simplicity

10|5|15   |   07:30   |   (0) comments

Francisco-Javier Ramon Salguero, head of Telefónica's NFV initiative, admits virtualization initially means greater complexity, but with the right abstraction layer, it is possible to create a services-driven network architecture. He explains how Telefónica's current trials and initiatives are aimed at doing that, and what his company and other carriers need to ...
LRTV Interviews
Gigabit Europe Takeaways

10|5|15   |   03:47   |   (0) comments

Participants from the inaugural Gigabit Europe event in Munich share their key takeaways from the conference.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Intel Urges Women to Take Advantage of Their Seat at the Table

10|5|15   |   4:27   |   (1) comment

Have inclusive and constructive conversations, attach a bigger meaning to your work and get involved in the cause, Intel's Monique Hayward advises women in comms.
LRTV Interviews
BT Updates on Plans

10|2|15   |   03:16   |   (2) comments

Peter Bell, CIO at Openreach, the access network division at UK incumbent BT, provides an update on the operator's trials and how Openreach is planning to deploy the broadband technology in its street cabinets.
Upcoming Live Events
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
Network appliances have a strong value proposition in today's networks and will continue to do so in the NFV and SDN-enabled networks of tomorrow.
Hot Topics
M&A Speculation Swirls Around Juniper
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 10/6/2015
Cisco's Chambers Rules Out Political Bid
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/6/2015
Infinera Fleshes Out Its Metro 100G Story
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 10/7/2015
AT&T Gets Green Light for VoWiFi
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 10/7/2015
Cord Cutting? 'Fraid so.
Brett Sappington, 10/7/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
With so many new and exciting communications technologies now under development, it's easy to get caught up in the industry's escalating hype cycle. That's why the ...
Last week saw a big day in the 15-year history of Light Reading when Editor-in-Chief Ray Le Maistre and I were invited to interview the Deputy Chairman and Rotating ...
Cats with Phones
"What?! I'm on with Finisar about their stock price tanking" Click Here