Cisco will Leverage OPNFV Efforts in Evolved Services Platform (ESP) Development
Most people following industry trends are aware of the ETSI Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) Industry Specification Group, which was formed in 2012 and kicked off its first set of specifications in October 2013. These documents are commonly used references in the growing movement to utilize NFV for carrier-grade network services.
Great progress has already been made, and Cisco has delivered many innovative NFV solutions via our Evolved Services Platform. To take it to the next level, and realize the full potential of NFV, customers will now start flexibly combining components from different vendors to enjoy the benefits of open source efforts.
Hence the announcement on Tuesday of Open Platform for Network Functions Virtualization (OPNFV), a new open source project focused on accelerating NFV’s evolution through an integrated, open platform. Cisco is a platinum-level founding member of the project, which will focus initially on the NFV infrastructure (NFVI) and infrastructure management (VIM) of the ETSI NFV Reference Architecture.
Source: Publications and Collateral page at opnfv.org.
I recently had the pleasure to read an excellent article by one of our industry’s leading analysts, Mr. Gabriel Brown of Heavy Reading titled “Analyzing Apple & VoLTE”. In this article, he makes the observation, that Apple – which is well known for keeping a strong focus towards their customer’s enjoying a high quality of experience – has included Voice over LTE (VoLTE) in their newest iPhones. Mr. Brown goes on to quite rightly note that by including VoLTE, Apple makes the case that mobile operators now need an IP Multimedia Core Network Subsystem (IMS core) and a functioning VoLTE service.
Figure 1: Cisco VNI Global Mobile Data Forecast 2013-2018
While I absolutely agree that Apple has provided a strong endorsement to VoLTE by including support for this feature, I believe that the Apple iPhone6 support for Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) and Text over Wi-Fi maybe as important (or more so). Let me explain. VoLTE is really a fact of life, it is going to happen and as long as a cell phone supports LTE it will be able to make or receive VoLTE calls as long as the carrier implements to network accordingly. However, Wi-Fi has long been maligned as the poor step-child of mobile broadband. Mostly because it is unruly (unlicensed) and anyone can deploy it (don’t have to be a carrier). And while the distance limitations and handoffs (Wi-Fi to 3G or to LTE) play a big role too those issues are being addressed (at least by Cisco). However, several reports, including Cisco’s own well regarded Visual Networking Index (VNI) for Global Mobile Data Traffic, show that mobile data usage over Wi-Fi is over 40% in 2013. In fact, it is projected that there will be more traffic offloaded from cellular networks onto Wi-Fi than remain on cellular networks by 2018 (that’s less than four years away).
While today most of the current IoT solutions do not have the ability to seamlessly connect and service the types of devices expected to be part of the 40 billion “things” forecasted to be activated by 2020. Yet mobile operators can uniquely deliver the connectivity (e.g., 2G / 3G / 4G / Wi-Fi / Small Cell) required to all devices anywhere, anytime, any place. Add in the mobile operator’s service delivery platform with the agility to activate thousands of devices at a time, the scalable cloud capacity for reduced OpEx, and a new application development platform enabling increased service creation velocity –and you’ve got a winning formula. So if you plan to attend this year’s IoT World Forum in Chicago make sure you sign up for the session the “The Value Delivered by the Service Provider in IoT“ and listen to service providers discuss how to improve IoT experiences, increase business impact, and make money while doing it.
Tremendous new opportunities are being created for technology vendors and service providers as cities around the world look to build out smart cities to reduce municipal costs, tap new sources of revenue, and improve the overall quality of urban life. The previous blog (Smart Cities Are a $7.5 Billion Annual Opportunity for Technology Providers) described all of the essential requirements of the smart city architecture and quantified the great opportunities for technology vendors and partners to help to create and operate these digitally smart cities of the future. The last question to address is what are the specific opportunities for SPs and where should they play to extract the most value from the deployment of smart cities?
The potential revenue opportunities available to SPs depend upon the strategic fit to their business. Specifically, we evaluated the opportunities across three strategic fit criteria:
Core Business – How closely is the solution or service aligned with the SP’s core business (e.g., using existing assets, leveraging current business operations and expertise, in regional footprint)
Stretch – To what extent would new investments or operations be required to deliver the solution or service (e.g., Capex for new assets, creation of new business operations, acquisition of new expertise, out of region play)
Deal Dependent – To what extent would the nature of the deal and the governance structure influence the potential revenues available? (e.g., vendor or lead, city investment or PPP)
Assessing the smart city revenue opportunities across these criteria reveals a number of strategic options for how SPs can think about approaching the smart city opportunity: Read More »
Just a few years ago, I’d go out for an occasional weekend drive to take in the splendor of Northern California, and leave my mobile phone and various gadgets behind.
Those days are long gone.
Over time, smart devices and connectivity have transformed my life – as I’m sure they have yours – and become essential to function in today’s modern world.
By 2020, there will be an estimated 50 billion objects connected to the Internet. Organizations and even individuals that effectively use these connections will achieve significant advantages, including more efficient and enjoyable experiences.
And service providers are in an enviable position, sitting at the center of the Internet of Everything (IoE), bringing together people, processes, data, and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before. IoE is turning information into actions that create new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented economic opportunity for businesses, individuals, and countries.
The stakes are high.
From smart grid and smart buildings to environmental sensors and mobile consumer experiences, Cisco predicts that between now and 2022, $19 trillion in value is at stake for organizations willing to take advantage of the immense IoE opportunity.