CSPs Need to Be Ready for a Data-Driven Future

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We discuss the following topics in this blog:

  1. Accelerate Revenue Growth, Address Dynamic Market Needs
  2. Is it Time for Network Transformation?
  3. Why SDN & NFV are Important?

In addition to these topics, we shall also be answering the following FAQs:

  1. What is WiFi?
  2. What is an Optical Fibre Cable?

Accelerate Revenue Growth, Address Dynamic Market Needs

Today’s tech-savvy consumers are tuned to real-time digital experience facilitated by highly-personalised OTT services. This change in consumer behaviour has steadily influenced new technologies — Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, 5G, AI and machine learning, among others — leading to a series of digital transformation impacting almost all the sectors. This transformation is forcing the Communications Service Providers (CSPs) to redefine their network to address the changing consumer preference. When new age consumers are moving at the speed of digital transformation, agility and flexibility in time-to-market personalised digital services are vital for the success of CSPs.

Is it Time for Network Transformation?

The legacy networks of CSPs are both complex and inflexible posing challenges such as specific gateways, distributed control functions, and require individual settings for each device. It is time for CSPs to redefine their approaches to offer virtual network services and cloud applications. The business, sales and marketing operations within CSPs, responsible for boosting the revenue growth, are affected by the slow pace of network and IT transformation that holds them back from quickly offering a new and diverse set of connectivity and value-added services. CSPs need to be prepared to offer virtual services and cloud-based enterprise applications much more quickly, with flexible commercial and operational models.

Why SDN & NFV are Important?

Software Defined Network (SDN) and Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) promise a new era in networking by enabling the efficient use of resources, rapid provision of services and improved resilience. SDN and NFV equip CSPs with virtualised gateways, centralised control and general purpose hardware with automated settings, allowing low latency, high scalability and increased agility. In addition to addressing the hyper-scale capacity requirements of mobile traffic, SDN and NFV play a crucial role in reducing CSPs’ CapEx and OpEx burden associated with expensive proprietary hardware platforms.

Gear Up for the Software-Defined Future

With the Return on Invested Capital (RoIC) of CSPs declining globally, CSPs should start taking advantage of the new capabilities being delivered by software-defined networking architectures. More than 50% of CSPs have already started investing in SDN and NFV initiatives. However, the level of adoption varies significantly, with the majority taking a highly tactical approach, risking the modernisation agenda for operational efficiency. (Source: Gartner) In the next two years, the SDN and NFV markets are projected to grow at a CAGR of about 45 percent.

Annual investments are expected to reach about $22 billion (€18.26 billion) by the end of 2020. (Source: SNS Research) Considering the pace at which SDN and NFV technology development is transforming the process and business models, the unprepared CSP networks will lag behind three years. To be more effective, this impact should be benchmarked with the current strategy to prepare CSPs for a data-driven future. (Source: Gartner).

FAQs

What is WiFi?

Put simply, WiFi is a technology that uses radio waves to create a wireless network through which devices like mobile phones, computers, printers, etc., connect to the internet. A wireless router is needed to establish a WiFi hotspot that people in its vicinity may use to access internet services. You’re sure to have encountered such a WiFi hotspot in houses, offices, restaurants, etc.

To get a little more technical, WiFi works by enabling a Wireless Local Area Network or WLAN that allows devices connected to it to exchange signals with the internet via a router. The frequencies of these signals are either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz bandwidths. These frequencies are much higher than those transmitted to or by radios, mobile phones, and televisions since WiFi signals need to carry significantly higher amounts of data. The networking standards are variants of 802.11, of which there are several (802.11a, 802.11b, 801.11g, etc.).

What is an Optical Fibre Cable?

An optical fibre cable is a cable type that has a few to hundreds of optical fibres bundled together within a protective plastic coating. They help carry digital data in the form of light pulses across large distances at faster speeds. For this, they need to be installed or deployed either underground or aerially. Standalone fibres cannot be buried or hanged so fibres are bunched together as cables for the transmission of data.

This is done to protect the fibre from stress, moisture, temperature changes and other externalities. There are three main components of a optical fibre cable, core (It carries the light and is made of pure silicon dioxide (SiO2) with dopants such as germania, phosphorous pentoxide, or alumina to raise the refractive index; Typical glass cores range from as small as 3.7um up to 200um), Cladding (Cladding surrounds the core and has a lower refractive index than the core, it is also made from the same material as the core; 1% refractive index difference is maintained between the core and cladding; Two commonly used diameters are 125µm and 140µm) and Coating (Protective layer that absorbs shocks, physical damage and moisture; The outside diameter of the coating is typically either 250µm or 500µm; Commonly used material for coatings are acrylate,Silicone, carbon, and polyimide).

An optical fibre cable is made up of the following components: Optical fibres – ranging from one to many. Buffer tubes (with different settings), for protection and cushioning of the fibre. Water protection in the tubes – wet or dry. A central strength member (CSM) is the backbone of all cables. Armoured tapes for stranding to bunch the buffer tubes and strength members together. Sheathing or final covering to provide further protection.

The five main reasons that make this technology innovation disruptive are fast communication speed, infinite bandwidth & capacity, low interference, high tensile strength and secure communication. The major usescases of optical fibre cables include intenet connectivity, computer networking, surgery & dentistry, automotive industry, telephony, lighting & decorations, mechanical inspections, cable television, military applications and space.

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