By investing in NFV, service providers can address the scalability issues they face today -- and the future demands new services will generate.
Operators face many challenges in today's crowded market. Competition is tighter and bandwidth-hungry applications and technologies are increasingly attractive to enterprises seeking reinvention as digitally disruptive organizations. Any new infrastructure path, then, must resolve more than one or two concerns.
"CSPs need to develop strategies to meet growing competition from disruptive technologies such as Telecom Infra Project and Open Compute Project. To build sustainable and competitive long-term operations, CSPs must evolve their business and provision network infrastructure with the power and scalability to support future technologies including 5G, cloud computing, big data, Internet of Things and artificial intelligence," Yuan Fei, the chief engineer & architect of ZTE's Strategy Planning Department tells the New IP Agency.
Likewise, investments in NFV enhance internal and external security via new managed security services, says Jason Porter, vice president of security solutions at AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) in an interview. Businesses want proactive security integrated throughout their entire solution, he says. (See AT&T's Porter: The Power of Security Platforms.)
"[Security] is not just one spot. It's defense, in-depth, that you need to apply so more visibility is more opportunity to identify and stop the adversary, and the better positioned you are. That's what's driving, I think, a lot of growth in our space. It resonates with customers," says Porter. "We have 130 petabytes of traffic going across our network every day and can pull that information into our threat center for analysis ... Most of our enterprise customers want that data. Our small-business customers get that we can protect them if their neighbors are getting attacked we can take the learnings from them and apply them to the next customer."
Donyel Jones-Williams, director of product marketing at Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), adds: "Providers are really looking at this as a mechanism to enhance their current offerings to make additional value-added money in 2017."
Cue the video
The continuous explosion of video and the move toward Ultra HD video, coupled with virtual and augmented reality, generate more challenges and opportunities for service providers.
"VR and AR systems will be focused primarily on entertainment and education," says Larry Tam, managing director for Hong Kong and Macau at Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD) "But as the platforms become more established, toward mid to late 2017, we can expect to see experimental applications in communications, data visualization, and enterprise situational awareness."
And that could be a huge boost for service providers.
"In terms of opportunities, the continuing growth of 'big video' and Internet TV platforms will generate sizeable revenue and profit for CSPs with innovative data plans and packages for subscribers," says Fei of ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763). "CSPs should also invest in supporting the growth of open source technologies and standardization to harness innovations in the industry ecosystem."
— Alison Diana, Editor, UBB2020. Follow her on Twitter @alisoncdiana or @UBB2020.