12:40pm-1pm, September 27
The transformation from voice to data and the intermingling of the media & entertainment and communications industries caused seismic changes in 4G. While communications service providers (CSPs) benefited from the content and social explosion to fund their 4G business cases, they missed the over-the-top (OTT) opportunity to further monetize their networks.
In 5G, an even more profound transformations will happen as vertical industries-- automotive, manufacturing, health, consumer retail and others--pour their global GDP into the 5G transformation add pervasive connectivity into their business architectures. This is the first tidal transformation with potential disruptive effects. Vertical industries will have the capacity to own networks, just like they own IT today. CSPs need to be ready to manage a fluid ecosystem and defend their core businesses.
The second tidal transformation is coming from technology evolution versus revolution. Previously, technology cycles were managed tradeoffs between legacy evolution versus disruptive innovation with powerful industry consortia dictating the speed of change. Today, the abundant availability of technology creates the possibility of greenfield solutions in technology, licensing and ownership models that have opensource as a cornerstone. Communications service providers need to be faster in finding a way out of existing technology and launch innovative full stacks.
The third tidal transformation will come from operating architecture transformation. Mobile networks were born with a lean modern architecture and benefited from more efficient technology and operating models. This was reflected by very different EBIT results.
In 5G, convergent networks will have to cope with new traits: provisioning complexity (network slicing), operations complexity (deep C-RAN, Mobile Edge), challenging service level agreement for mission critical services and an explosion of peripherals such as going from 10,000 sites to 1 million hot points. Digitalization and robotization will not be an option to assure sustainability and profitability.
This session will show a roadmap to navigate these tidal change from operating in a fluid ecosystem for service creation to building software based open networks and operating a more complex stack with digital empowerment and a “liquid workforce”.
1:05pm-1:25pm, September 27
With the rise of customer demand for digital services, lightning-quick speed and seamless performance are increasingly essential. This, among other factors, is driving the excitement that many communications service providers (CSPs) are experiencing regarding software-defined networking (SDN). For CSPs, SDN’s potential to improve the user experience makes it an inevitable “next step” in networks. Adoption of the new virtual network will also be essential for CSPs to operate in tomorrow’s fragmented world, with its plenitude of players. And SDN, if managed correctly, can enable CSPs to lower their operating costs and reduce the time to market for new services, while also permitting providers to maintain a healthy margin.
At the same time, transitioning to SDN raises questions about the best way to deploy, manage and invest in it. An accelerated transition to the new network will require a reallocation of investment opportunities. One key hurdle faced by CSPs is in the area of upfront investment required to integrate SDN and network function virtualization (NFV) components into their IT estate. While companies such as Google have been implementing SDN for the last few years, the lack of an obvious “killer application,” which would lead to immediately realizable revenue opportunities, is inhibiting operators from following the same path. A three dimensional approach to encompass Business, Technology and Operational Transformation is therefore needed to successfully execute this transformation.
This session will cover the next step for CSPs across the three dimensions of Business, Technology and Operations. We will also highlight the development of a vibrant application ecosystem - Much like the “app store” concept invented by Apple, the applications generated for network infrastructures are likely to be a game-changing disruption. Many such apps are likely to be developed in the very near future, including apps for security, WAN optimization, traffic analytics, policy and charging, and application delivery.
A pervasive change will also be needed at the organizational, business process and skillset levels. Such transformation will require development of a phased execution plan, wise vendor management, and a prioritized cutover of product and service offerings.
Attendees will learn that while this transformation will require new approaches and priorities, it will deliver a great deal of added value, offering CSPs improved flexibility to debut more services, improve vendor diversity and cut operational costs. The players that get it right over the next three to five years will be able to create a sustainable competitive advantage.