Unknown, New Possibilities – IoT, SDN and NFV ?
The Internet & telecommunications industry is undergoing a disruption. Individuals, cities and businesses alike expect ubiquitous connectivity at faster speed than ever for real-time information that empowers them to become far more efficient and innovative. Is this NEED for more set to bring about another industrial revolution? MAYBE.
Although we can see this revolution coming, we don’t know exactly how dramatic an impact it will have and how disruptive will the Internet of Things (IoT) be?
But one thing is clear for sure, with a sophisticated and widely spread communication infrastructure, operators see this as an opportunity to come up with new ideas and models of an alternate revenue stream to compensate a saturated or nearly saturated market. There are several challenges that an operator needs to overcome when building for IoT –
- Connectivity – connecting devices over long distances and accommodating low-power hardware.
- ARPU –with 1,000 times as many devices but 1000th of the traditional ARPU.
- Broadband penetration – connecting remote users.
- Ability to deploy and manage software in remote environments
- Understanding normal connectivity behavior for an IoT device
Given the challenges, operators are prompted to transition from traditional box-based networks to software-based networks that are far more flexible, nimble and quick in responding to changing business scenarios, which translate to –
- Versatile radio (combining existing radio access technologies in both licensed and unlicensed bands) that can deliver gigabytes of bandwidth, low latency connectivity and can connect billions of sensors and machines on demand.
- Hyper flexible, programmable core.
The result is an Evolved Packet Core (EPC) adapting to run on centralized off-the-shelf IT infrastructure that utilizes front/backhaul connections to connect to multiple RATs (cellular, Wi-Fi and fixed) to deliver multiple services (mobile broadband, massive Machine Type Communications (MTC) and critical MTC) to support new possibilities and use cases, many of which are unknown.
Software-Defined Networking (SDN), Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and 5G; collectively are initiatives gearing up to deliver virtual instances of an entire network tailored to the needs of any industry whether transportation, entertainment, healthcare, agriculture or manufacturing. This creates a unique opportunity to monetize insights generated by analyzing data from these connected devices to improve operational efficiency and derive new revenue streams.
Mobile Broadband, Network slicing, and IoT are just few use cases, rest are unknown.
Unknown, New Possibilities !
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