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Questions for a Network Evolution

Former AT&T CTO Dr. Hossein Eslambolchi, now chairman and CEO of 2020 Venture Partners, has sent one of his Top Ten lists, which often promote discussion about the state of service provider networks. This time, for your edification, he's submitted the Top Ten Questions for Service Providers for a Successful Network Evolution:

  • Should networks be the center of the universe, or should the applications?
  • Should the network extend itself to all seven layers of the OSI stack or should it be limited to Layers 1, 2 and 3?


  • Should networks be open like some operating systems or closed like Google Android or Apple's iOS?


  • Should networks be application blind or should apps be network blind?


  • Should networks' rate plans operate like utility companies', or should rate plans operate based on dollar value?


  • Should networks manage and control the devices, or should devices manage the networks? Which one is getting smarter?


  • Should networks adapt to user mobility and behavior, or should users adapt to the network's behavior? (Both are very dymanic!)


  • Should networks support all-IP switching, or should IP switching support networks switching (i.e., from Wi-Fi to Femto, 3G to 4G, etc.)?


  • Should networks control security, or should security control network innovation?


  • Should networks be the basis for Internet 3 innovation, or should innovation be the Internet 3? What is Internet 1 or 2 mean when 91 percent of video traffic will be IP by 2012? [Ed. Note: Eslambolchi, via email, elaborates that "Internet 1" was the original Internet, built by DARPA in the 1960s. The Internet 2 he refers to is the modern-day Internet, as it transitions from IPv4 to IPv6. His question asserts that service provider networks might not be designed to support needs of 21st century, with more mobile and video traffic than ever before.]


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— The Staff, Light Reading

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