& cplSiteName &

Carriers Flip for AIG

Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
3/26/2009

The response we've had from carriers to our recent report on the emerging market in access-independent gateways (AIGs) – "Access-Independent Gateways: The Edge of Next-Generation Networks" – has been quite a lot more positive than I might have expected at this relatively early stage in next-generation network transformation.

To make a long story short, my report depicted the trend among equipment vendors to leverage new generations of multi-core processor technology to design more flexible, higher-capacity gateway products. Increasingly, these are capable of supporting more than one wireline or wireless access network simultaneously. They are also capable of supporting a variety of onboard session and policy management features for those different access networks.

There's no doubt as to the theoretical value proposition: In an environment in which the growth in IP services and broadband access is causing a proliferation in the scale and variety of capabilities that are needed at the edge of the network, a gateway that can serve as a point of consolidation for multiple device types across multiple access networks holds out the promise of substantial opex savings, as well as potentially lower network latency.

At the same time, the barriers to adoption of these products are also very clear. Many CTOs tend to break out in a cold sweat at the mere whiff of anything resembling a "god box" and prefer "best-of-breed" procurement distributed across multiple vendors. Also, while the balance of control and data plane requirements in wireless and wireline gateways is converging, there is still a considerable gap between the two. And most integrated operators still have different organizations managing their wireline and wireless networks; indeed, many even have different organizations managing different wireline access gateways for consumers and enterprise customers.

For all of those reasons, I expected the AIG product concept to be received by carriers with a hefty dose of caution regarding the timing of market introduction. But while some of that caution has come out, it's been quite a bit less than I expected.

In January, for example, I hosted a Light Reading Webinar on the subject. During the Webinar, we had an audience poll that asked, "What functionality do you think is most likely to converge in a multi-access gateway that operators will use to serve both wireline and wireless access networks?" More than half (51 percent) of respondents answered, "Both gateway and service intelligence"; 23 percent responded, "Just service intelligence"; and 11 percent responded, "Just the main gateway functionality." Importantly, only 7 percent responded, "None – wireline and wireless are too different"; while 8 percent responded, "Don't know." Separating out the carriers from the rest of the sample also yielded a very similar distribution of responses to the poll question.

I also presented the AIG product concept to a group of Eastern European carriers last week. Again, the balance of responses I expected wasn't forthcoming. The feedback I got was that the case for this product type is clear.

These are certainly still early days in terms of bringing these products to market, let alone assembling the business case for deploying them, let alone executing on those plans. Moreover, there will certainly be multiple deployment models, featuring wide variations in the amount of feature bundling that goes into any one product that is deployed on the ground. Nevertheless, while my report showed that the first handful of commercial deployments are tentatively underway, it's becoming clear that in many cases, the drivers for adoption are at least as compelling as the barriers – if not more so.

— Patrick Donegan, Senior Analyst, Wireless, Heavy Reading

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
menexis
menexis
12/5/2012 | 4:07:02 PM
re: Carriers Flip for AIG
Nice post! I think Cisco and Huawei are in the best position to take advantage of AIG.
pdonegan67
pdonegan67
12/5/2012 | 4:06:55 PM
re: Carriers Flip for AIG
Yes, that was the conclusion I reached when I did the original research on the Access Independent Gateway product space last year. However since the new year, Ericsson, Alcatel Lucent and Starent have started positioning more around potentially combining support for fixed and wireless access networks from the same gateway device over time. It will be interesting to see whether the likes of Nortel, Nokia Siemens and Juniper start moving in this direction as well.
busted
busted
12/5/2012 | 4:06:52 PM
re: Carriers Flip for AIG
and I was hoping for yet another juicy article on the shaky insurnce Giant AIG
More Blogs from Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
It's not just about mobile, you know...
Fixed broadband service provider developed its own OSS and BSS systems, a move that gives it cost efficiencies compared with traditional systems and advanced data analysis capabilities, according to its executives.
Among the many considerations facing network operators as they make the leap into the 5G world, service assurance is right up there with the toughest, as CSP executives will explain at the upcoming Software-Driven Operations summit in London.
The Eurasian operator has flipped its digital strategy to give greater autonomy to its geographically diverse operating companies.
With hype around all things 'edge' on the rise, Heavy Reading launched a research study to gain a realistic understanding of how edge computing will affect the future of network connectivity.
Featured Video
Upcoming Live Events
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
Partner Perspectives - content from our sponsors
Sports Venues: Where 5G Brings a Truly Immersive Experience
By Peter Linder, 5G Evangelist, North America, Ericsson
Multiband Microwave Provides High Capacity & High Reliability for 5G Transport
By Don Frey, Principal Analyst, Transport & Routing, Ovum
All Partner Perspectives