& cplSiteName &

NFV Is Down but Not Out

Iain Morris
5/22/2018
100%
0%

Lashings of open source and a sprinkling of startups
Tension between operators and their suppliers is much older than NFV, of course. Operators conceded the innovation ground to vendors before the 1980s, according to Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, the head of the towers subsidiary of Germany's Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT). They have perhaps come to regret that in the twenty-first century, as Silicon Valley's "over-the-top" (OTT) companies have bounded past them. What NFV has inadvertently done is to aggravate the relationship, promising an answer to the OTT threat it has failed to deliver so far.

Mounting frustration appears to have driven some telcos toward alternative suppliers and non-proprietary, "open source" technologies. France's Orange (NYSE: FTE), which has also complained about the operational burden of NFV, is nurturing a handful of network startups that could, it reckons, supplant the big suppliers in future. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Spain's Telefónica are sponsoring huge open source projects, seemingly to address interoperability challenges in network management and orchestration. (See Orange, VCs Commit $113M to Network Startups as 'Black Box' Frustration Mounts and DT Demands Automation, Cloud Tech From Pan-Net Suppliers.)

Indian Smarts
From left to right: Mark Newman, chief analyst at the TM Forum (organizer of Digital Transformation World); Anish Shah, IT president at Reliance Jio; Kiran Thomas, president, Reliance Industries; Steffen Roehn, senior advisor, Reliance Jio.
From left to right: Mark Newman, chief analyst at the TM Forum (organizer of Digital Transformation World); Anish Shah, IT president at Reliance Jio; Kiran Thomas, president, Reliance Industries; Steffen Roehn, senior advisor, Reliance Jio.

Backed by Mukesh Ambani, India's wealthiest man, Reliance Jio similarly believes that open source technology and non-traditional vendors are the recipe for success. About one half of its technology footprint is now based on open source technology, up from just 5% when it started out. It now regards itself as a kind of AT&T of India. "We are committing a lot of code into open source," Anish Shah, the operator's IT president, told Light Reading in Nice. "We will create an ecosystem to drive critical things." (See How RJio Built India's Most Automated Network.)

But for the likes of Telus and Globe, which lack the resources of AT&T and even RJio, the use of startups and open source technologies could mean further uncertainty. Gedeon says the capital position of Telus is too small for it to be a "kingmaker," like Orange. "We have to piggyback," he says. The obvious risk here is that a small number of very large operators become the industry's technology powerbrokers, leaving smaller players no more in control of their destinies than they are today.


For more automation-related coverage and insights, check out our dedicated automation content channel here on Light Reading.


The emergence of ONAP and OSM, two rival open source platforms for management and network orchestration, highlights the quandary. An AT&T baby adopted by the Linux Foundation, ONAP is a problem child as far as some operators are concerned, with its millions of lines of software code and current immaturity. For Telus, the issue is what AT&T has withheld rather than what it has released, says Gedeon. "I was critical when AT&T took the analytics out," he says. "They held back the stuff that will help me manage the network, which is the secret sauce." That forced Telus to build its own analytics engine. (See ONAP Takes Flak as Telcos Prep for Release 1.)

For Globe, the real worry is whether to back ONAP or the alternative OSM platform, a European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) project that counts Telefónica as its main telco supporter. Incompatibility between the two could make that decision matter if vendors were to swing en masse behind one platform. "It is not clear whether they are complementary or mutually exclusive -- if there is a role for the two in the same architecture," Seet complains. "We want to know how different they are and then get our hands dirty." (See Telefónica Starts Hunt for OSM Integrator Amid Open Source Doubts.)

Next page: Partnership promise

 
(33)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 4   >   >>
jylliannesiga
50%
50%
jylliannesiga,
User Rank: Light Beer
9/25/2018 | 4:46:07 AM
So does Gedeon from TELUS expects NFV to be FREE????
Some of these comments look stark in text in a news report, but it's hard to judge context and tone from here.
Atlantis-dude
50%
50%
Atlantis-dude,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/3/2018 | 1:23:03 PM
depends on what kind of technology team is
built inhouse. If that handles development and support of nfunctions then 10x possible. bUt building such a team is tough and xpensive for telco.
Raanan10
50%
50%
Raanan10,
User Rank: Light Beer
6/14/2018 | 1:47:25 AM
‘NFV is not down yet’: save it by doing it right
While obviously not all of NFV's promise has materialized, concluding that NFV has failed to deliver is far reaching. 
 
The values of NFV for service providers and enterprises can still be achieved when adopting the right product and right deployment strategy. D-NFV and uCPE solutions allow quick and efficient rollout of NFV managed services with minimal initial investment supporting an "invest as you grow" model.
 
Special importance should be given to choosing the right uCPE solution. The common tendency to select a solution, using the same criteria employed while selecting centralized NFV, or "jumping on the easy choice" of your current appliance/network-equipment vendor, might not yield the required results.
brooks7
50%
50%
brooks7,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/5/2018 | 11:39:01 AM
Re: We've realized a third of the savings. We need to get to a factor of ten
rocket,

 

I think that you are missing the notion a bit.  He is talking about 30% savings over doing the service without NFV.  For a telco, that is a bare minimum for adopting a new vendor.

The big problem will be on the OPEX side, whereas it is pointed out more people are required during the transition.  This transition is the 100% elimination of the old network.  Until then, two staff positions are required. So, even if there are CAPEX savings there is an extreme downside on the OPEX side.

For your example, it would be the adoption of IP PBXes and SIP Trunking.  Not only did one reduce the capital requirements, but you could fire the guy who knows about T-1.  That was a 100% reduction in T-1 guy Opex.

seven

 
rocket101
50%
50%
rocket101,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/4/2018 | 5:03:27 PM
We've realized a third of the savings. We need to get to a factor of ten
>>We've realized a third of the savings. We need to get to a factor of ten.

Does anyone on this board can share any example where a company was able to realize savings by a factor of ten in ANY business??? If the CTO of TELUS is expecting savings by a factor of ten by moving to NFV, then I feel there is a very basic issue here in the way his understanding is about what is needed to implement NFV OR my undesrtanding is incorrect 100%.

Even a household will not be able to achieve savings by a factor of ten unless folks in the family just drink water for food and eat only salad and that too homegrown most of the time.

How in the world someone and that too a CTO of a company is expecting savings by a factor or ten is beyond my imagination. He is getting 30% savings alreday and that is a huge number by itself. Does Telus or any company offer a phone plan that costs 1/10th or even 1/5th of the going rate just because the network is more NFV focussed?

Please share your thoughts. I just don't seem to come to terms that someone could expect to run an existing business with 90% discount in cost of running the business.

I would like to hear of definite examples if there are any.

 

 

 
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/29/2018 | 11:36:42 PM
Re: "I pay people like Red Hat all of a sudden for OpenStack,"
@yarn: TCO isn't everything, even if it should be more emphasized. Investors in public companies want to see increased profits quarter over quarter -- not increased expenditures. And the executives and lower-level employees making purchasing recommendations and decisions may not expect to be employed at the same company by the time cost savings is realized.
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/29/2018 | 11:30:46 PM
Re: So does Gedeon from TELUS expects NFV to be FREE????
Even executives can fall for marketing -- and the open-source community's long-time messaging has been "It's free!" The unspoken part of that: "As long as you don't want support lol."
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/29/2018 | 11:28:36 PM
Local EPCs
Yeah, vEPC really fizzled out from all the hype a couple of years ago, huh?

Of course, we can't say we weren't warned for all that hype for those willing and able to read between the lines.  As Gabriel noted in a 2016 Heavy Reading report, revenue from vEPC had a 70-30 split between software licenses and hardware investment -- in favor of software.
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/25/2018 | 9:48:06 AM
Re: So does Gedeon from TELUS expects NFV to be FREE????
A follow-up story to clarify some of the points made in the original post would be a good idea. At least it would give Mr. Gedeon the opportunity to clarify his reported comments, which do come off as something short of clued-in.
Gabriel Brown
50%
50%
Gabriel Brown,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/25/2018 | 3:49:51 AM
Re: So does Gedeon from TELUS expects NFV to be FREE????
Some of these comments look stark in text in a news report, but it's hard to judge context and tone from here.

Ibrahim Gedeon is a clued-in CTO. I suspect his comments were partly building a picture and reflecting on thought proceses everybody in the industry has had. He isn't naive that is for sure.

He's a good speaker. It's refreshing to have an operator exec articulate these issues in the open.

It may also reflect the frustrations of smaller operators who are more beholden to vendors and who can't (economically) run their own software development programs for what should be "commodity" functions.
Page 1 / 4   >   >>
Featured Video
Upcoming Live Events
September 17-19, 2019, Dallas, Texas
October 1-2, 2019, New Orleans, Louisiana
October 10, 2019, New York, New York
October 22, 2019, Los Angeles, CA
November 5, 2019, London, England
November 7, 2019, London, UK
November 14, 2019, Maritim Hotel, Berlin
December 3-5, 2019, Vienna, Austria
December 3, 2019, New York, New York
March 16-18, 2020, Embassy Suites, Denver, Colorado
May 18-20, 2020, Irving Convention Center, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events