Judging from the size, bustle and long line for elevators at the multi-building International Telecoms Week in Chicago, May 10-13, wholesale carrier business is bustling -- especially as carriers look to New IP technologies to expand their global footprint.
Indeed most of the global carriers had a presence at this annual Chicago-based event, in addition to a host of suppliers, cloud providers, data center operators and inter-exchange carriers. Last year's event hosted 6,039 delegates from over 1,800 companies and more than 148 countries, and this year's event seemed on par with those numbers.
Click on the image below for a few images from the show this week.
By 5:00 p.m., the main registration area of ITW could have used traffic cops to keep the flow of people moving up and away from the escalators so as to avoid people pile-ups.
SDN/NFV Mood Meter
Software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) are big buzzwords in the industry today, but adoption and buy-in varies by provider and region, so I've pulled together a short SDN/NFV Mood Meter based on a few key takeaways:
HOT for NFV and SDN: Telstra's Jim Clarke, head of marketing, product and pricing, said NFV was one of the key values of its acquisition of PACNET which already had enabled 16 of its points of presence (PoPs) with SDN. Telstra plans to add 25 more to bolster its global expansion, according to Clarke.
WARM for NFV and SDN: Telefonica's Director, Eduardo Guardincerri Ortola, said that NFV and SDN are not yet ready for prime-time due to vendor interoperablity problems as well as mindset issues. While Telefonica is working on several POCs with a number of vendors, he says the technology is still three to five years away. (See Telefónica: SDN Vendors Need to Interoperate .)
COOL for NFV and SDN: African providers don't even have NFV or SDN on their radar and are a generation behind when it comes to networking technology, according to Simon Pearson, business development director of World Telecom Lab. "They can't think about draining the swamp because they are too busy fighting off the alligators," he said. However, with a few big undersea cables ready to go, and the proliferation of mobile phones, it won't be long before content delivery (especially video) over smartphones leads African providers into the next-generation IP networks transition, he said. "Transitions in Africa tend to happen very quickly. In 18 months mobile operators in Africa went from 100% TDM to 100% VoIP."