Despite months of planning, it never ceases to amaze me how fast another Mobile World Congress came and went. Despite the long flight, crowded metro, and inflated prices, the event remains one of the most important in our industry.
It seems like it is one the of few remaining gatherings where it is possible to meet either by chance or by pre-arrangements with peers, colleagues, influencers, customers and suppliers. Yet the event has grown so large that even scheduling meeting themselves proved to be a logistical challenge. Given the passenger list for my flight alone, United Airlines in fact could have offered a concierge service to arrange in-flight meetings. Note: it is interesting to see the boarding process break down virtually the entire passenger manifest is Zone 1 or Zone 2.
Because it came and went so quickly, I’m feeling a sense of urgency to post the obligatory post-event blog before the memory of #MWC15 fades. Here are some of the notable highlights you may have missed, if like me, you struggled to make it past Hall 5.
Even though we’re still in the process of implementing 4G, the industry talk is now all about 5G. The rate of change in the industry is relentless so it’s not surprising we’re now pushing new boundaries with solutions such as small cells, 5G, Internet of Things, etc..
Speaking of which…at #MWC15, NFV continued its forward progress and included live demonstrations of NFV-based networks. Operators are committing to NFV solutions such as the virtual Evolved Packet Core (vEPC) and virtual Radio Access Network (vRAN) in the pursuit of more cost-effective and more agile networks. The supplier community is wholly onboard as well. VMware announced VMware vCloud for NFV with Integrated OpenStack. Some claims: “VMware vCloud for NFV Helps CSPs Achieve Sustainable Cost Reductions, Improve Time To Market”, “VMware Offers CSPs a Fast, Simple Path to OpenStack Adoption”, and “Multi-Vendor vCloud NFV Platform Supports 40+ Virtual Network Functions from 30+ Vendors”.
The progress is undeniable. What still seems to be missing in these discussions, in my opinion, is a frank recognition of how all this becomes truly operational. Demonstrations, lab trials, proof-of-concepts, and small-scale field trials are all encouraging. But implementing, maintaining, and supporting revenue generating services using these new technologies will create new a whole new set of operational requirements, complexities, and challenges.
In a recently published article we wrote: in order to achieve the commercial promises of SDN and NFV, the industry will have to understand and address the operational considerations of rolling out these technologies in scale, while at the same time dealing with the realities of continuing to run and expand traditional network architectures. Assuring network performance, integrity and security in this dynamic, complex environment is vital, yet it has been overlooked, for the most part, in all discussions to date.
These are the topics we covered at #MWC15 in our in-booth seminars and briefings .
We also released a significant announcement describing how Turk Telekom uses Nakina to enable service orchestration and anticipates saving $25 Million.
After all, Network Integrity is the key to enable NFV, management, and orchestration.
Fins a la propera vegada Barcelona.