In 2017 in many developing and emerging markets, telcos and other service providers will be completing significant upgrades to their network architectures and infrastructures.
These network upgrades will enable services providers to meet the ongoing demand for more data traffic without significantly increasing capital or operational expenditures. Equally as important, service providers will also be able to leverage their upgraded networks to provide new and improved services and create new sources of revenue.
10GE and 100GE Carrier Ethernet network upgrades
There is a growing need for network operators to upgrade their access network capacity. More and more network operators are expanding their access capacity to 10GE. Many network operators are even upgrading to 100GE for certain high density areas. Improving service quality and meeting the constantly growing demand for more data traffic are the main reasons behind these access network upgrades. This trend will certainly gain momentum among network operators in developing and emerging markets in 2017 and beyond.
Deploying fully orchestrated networks will help network operators succeed with their network upgrades. Orchestrated networks will simplify both the network upgrade deployment activities and ongoing service provisioning and network maintenance efforts.
The first large scale, commercial deployments of D-NFV and vCPE networking technologies will be happening in 2017. These technologies have been under evaluation for the past few years by service providers in most regions around the world.
Many Tier 1 service providers in North America appear to be ready to go live with these technologies. Those service providers in developing and emerging markets that have been evaluating D-NFV and vCPE in their testing sites will likely be ready to roll out these technologies in their live environments towards the end of the year.
The rollout of these technologies will enable service providers to create new and much needed revenue streams by providing business customers with a new range of virtualized IT services. For these upcoming and many of the future roll outs of D-NFV and vCPE, a debate is taking shape across the telco industry on how to best configure the deployment of these technologies.
There is a current trend at the request of service providers to separate the hardware and software components of networking devices. The driver behind this separation is both to lower the cost of the hardware and encourage software innovation. As a result, a concept of a ‘gray box’ has emerged. This concept is based on using commoditized hardware to run a combination of dedicated software along with partial openness to add additional VNF services.
More recently, an additional approach for ‘white boxes’ has also evolved. This concept provides a complete separation of the hardware and software and benefits service providers with a fully open and neutral framework to easily provision VNF services.
The merits of both approaches will likely be widely discussed throughout 2017 with the white box concept likely to gain significant momentum and acceptance towards the end of the year.
New advanced data services from cable operators targeted at business customers
Many cable operators around the world are now in the process of or are considering upgrading their existing Docsis networks. By upgrading to Docsis 3.x, cable operators will be able to offer advanced data services to business customers, such as Dedicated Internet Access (DIA), L2VPN, L3VPN and inter-site and data center connectivity.
For many cable operators, this will be their first experiences with services specifically for the business customer segment. In many developing and emerging markets, these new data services will be a welcome source of competition in the market for data services targeted at business customers.
Raanan Tzemach is the Vice President of Product Management and Marketing at Telco Systems.