By Rob Marson, Strategic Marketing Manager, JDSU
To many, Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2013 seemed quiet. Because the latest new smartphone or tablet introduction typically garners the majority of press coverage and hype, the lack of such a major unveiling created the perception that nothing really significant was announced. In my opinion, nothing could be further from the truth. MWC 2013 was significant in many ways, namely because the focus was back on the network and the amazing innovations that are occurring around areas such as small cells, software defined networks, cloud networking, and big data. Here are highlights I observed.
NSN Announced its Liquid Applications - This brings applications, services, and content close to the user at the edge of the network, right to the base station. Traditionally these functionalities have been located at a centralized location, which could cause latency and jitter issues depending on traffic congestion and backhaul bottlenecks. By bringing these functionalities close to the user, operators can service a user’s application and service demands more effectively. Liquid Applications also allows for radio data to be exported and contextualized, but at the same time allow third party applications to connect and use data. As part of this, NSN announced a collaboration with IBM around Big Data analytics. The objective is to create new revenue streams for operators on low-latency services such as mobile gaming, augmented reality, traffic management, public safety, and other applications.
Ericsson Unveiled its Service Provider Software Defined Network (SDN) vision at MWC 2012
Ericsson demonstrated SDN control from the data center into the wide area network, all the way to the radio access network. Ericsson’s strategy includes: Integrated network control, Orchestrated Network and Cloud management and Service Exposure.
Huawei Announced Its SDN Strategy: Softcom - It is based on OpenFlow (separation of control and data plane for network switching) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) which implements network capabilities in software rather than proprietary hardware platforms. Huawei expects that IP-RAN and cloud EPC will be the first components to benefit from SDN and virtualization.
Additional noteworthy headlines include:
Juniper announced virtualization of LTE Evolved Packet Core (EPC) using its JunosV App Engine.
F5 Networks and Tekelec announced the virtualization of signaling controllers while Amdocs announced the implementation of billing and PCRF equipment in virtualized environment.
Others like Alcatel Lucent, Cisco, Samsung and ZTE are expected to announce SDN strategies soon.
In many ways, MWC 2013 was one of the more significant events in recent memory as it confirmed some fundamental and consistent industry shifts are occurring. The network is again recognized as playing a vital role – its scalability, cost effectiveness, and flexibility to enable new services has a direct impact on service provider profitability. As a result it is not surprising that many of the techniques being applied to cloud and datacenter networking are finding their way into operator networks.
As for JDSU, at the event among other mobile test and measurement highlights we demonstrated how PacketPortal – a distributed data intelligence collection solution which leverages a cloud-inspired architecture to enable scale and performance – can be used to monetize the valuable insight inherent in modern networks. By exposing real time analytics from the network, operators can make informed decisions about network policies, optimize application performance, and monetize new services. A joint demo with Hitachi data systems underscored the power of PacketPortal - click here for more.
Rob Marson is a Strategic Marketing Manager in the JDSU CommTest division. Rob has experience in sales, marketing and portfolio management with expertise in service provider, enterprise and datacenter networking.