New IP world Demands !
The automated and converged home, enterprise and service provider networks offer a plethora of opportunities to solution providers provided they develop skills and solutions to meet the demands of the new IP world.
The 21st century ushered in some key changes to the telecom networks. The TDM networks were gradually replaced by the more scalable IP-based packet networks. The monolithic telecom switches were replaced by distributed switches based on ForCES (Forwarding and Control Element Separation) bringing in more innovation and choice.
2G based cellular technologies and architectures were upgraded to packet based LTE technologies. The Ethernet / IP technologies moved outward from the LAN into the Access, Metro and Core parts of the network leading to proliferation of IP addressed devices and equipment.
The IPv4 addressing scheme became a bottleneck leading to the industry moving to the IPv6 addressing scheme and it laid the foundation of the ubiquitous connectivity of the IoT (Internet of Things) world.
Though the IP based networks and simplicity of 4G network architectures brought in improved flexibility and speed in triple play service creation in telecom networks, the network scalability and speed of service creation still lagged behind the demand due to the nature of the network element design and the network architecture.
Meanwhile, the use of large number of multi-core general-purpose processors in data centers, virtualization technologies and automation methods in the Enterprise IT world provided new ideas involving NFV to the world of telecom networks.
Network Function Virtualization (NFV) allows network elements used by network operators to be virtualized and executed on private/ public cloud environments.
It has emerged as a foundation to bring in the much needed Auto-scaling, Flexibility of Network Operations and automated service creation to meet the growing demands of the users of the telecom networks and services.
The NFV paradigm allows extreme flexibility to operators to use Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) from a variety of VNF vendors and open-source solutions bringing in choice and reduced cost of operations and upgrades. NFV has bought in a huge opportunity for the solution providers to solve the challenges of Interoperability of VNFs, Telco Cloud Security, Optimization of NFVI, Seamless mobility of VNFs between Private and Public clouds and the like.
LTE meanwhile continues to grow from strength to strength as a wireless connectivity technology and presents a huge opportunity. Virtualizations of EPC elements as well as Cloud-RAN-based architectures have been announced by several players.
The benefits of IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) are getting realized via VoLTE (Voice over LTE) and ViLTE (Video over LTE) applications. The LTE-U/LAA and LTE-M promise to take the LTE into the worlds of unlicensed spectrum usage and the low power M2M devices. 3GPP standards are evolving for use of LTE in public safety and defense networks.
Another big challenge and hence opportunity in the New IP world appears in the Management Plane functions.
As the IP based billions of IoT devices also get added in the 5G networks, the management layer would get further stretched. The REST API based solutions are aiding integration at these layers. It is imperative that this layer is designed for extreme scale and performance.
The New IP World promises to provide solutions to meet the expectations of the humankind inter-connected with IP based devices. The automated and converged Home, Enterprise and Service Provider networks offer a plethora of opportunities to solution providers provided they develop skills and solutions to meet the demands of the new IP world.