The pace of change is accelerating, with multiple trends converging to stress service providers’ network and IT infrastructure as we move towards 2019.

The average service provider infrastructure must carry a heavier workload in the next few years. Globally, each customer is expected to be carrying more than three connected devices by 2021.[1] According to the Cisco VNI, mobile traffic per user in the Asia Pacific region could reach a high of 7,413 megabytes per month by 2021[2]. By the same year, a single 5G connection could generate as much as 29,232 megabytes of traffic per month[3].

Customers are much more demanding today, too. They now expect improved experiences for the services they consume. Excellent reliability, security and customer service are all essential. At the same time, they are always willing to switch providers the moment they see innovative offers.

Legacy platforms have meant that service providers often take up to two years to develop and deploy new services[4]. This isn’t going to be fast enough for the demanding customers of today. Consumers in the Philippines and China are already upgrading their smartphones yearly[5]. Service providers will have to transform their IT infrastructures to deliver the quality of service as well as the additional services that new devices demand.

The first-mover advantage will be critical. For instance, Ovum predicts that operators which offer 5G services/coverage first are likely to be able to charge more and add more value-added services[6]. It’ll also be key for service providers to become more agile and secure to support consumers and businesses into the long term.

The Cisco Open Network Architecture can help service providers keep up with these changes. The service provider platform is designed to automate, simplify, virtualize, secure and program network and IT infrastructure, easily addressing the requirements of serving customers in a digital world.

The Open Network Architecture has helped many service providers increase their agility and delight customers. Telstra partnered with Cisco to deploy a unified, on-demand suite of cloud and managed network services based on Cisco’s advanced SDN and NFV solutions, for example. This enabled the Australian service provider to rapidly launch new services and transform customer experiences[7].

Working with Cisco has allowed Reliance Jio in India to create disruptive new offers. The service provider runs the world’s largest automated all-IP network in partnership with Cisco, which helped to reduce the cost per gigabyte by 93 percent. India is #1 in mobile broadband consumption in the world, with the most affordable customer experience due to this award-winning initiative[8].

Jio has also used Cisco multi-access edge computing to optimize and enhance its mobile video experience with a content delivery network.[9]

As change intensifies, service providers in ASEAN will need to digitally transform to compete in saturated markets with new services and better customer experience. The comprehensive, versatile Cisco Open Network Architecture is designed to help them hold their own against the competition. Choosing the right technology platform not only helps service providers to meet today’s challenges easily, but also addresses new challenges well into the future.

[1] Announcement PDF, slide: Megatrends for Service Providers

[2] https://www.cisco.com/c/dam/assets/sol/sp/vni/forecast_highlights_mobile/index.html

[3] https://www.cisco.com/c/dam/assets/sol/sp/vni/forecast_highlights_mobile/index.html

[4] https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/service-provider/transformation-through-innovation.html#~stickynav=2

[5] https://gmo-research.com/news-events/studies/trends-asian-mobile-market-2018-and-beyond

[6] 5G: Regional and Global Approaches to a Technology Step Change, Ovum, slide 4

[7] https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/service-provider/transformation-through-innovation.html#~stickynav=5

[8] https://www.cisco.com/c/m/en_us/network-intelligence/service-provider/digital-transformation/rjio-powering-world-largest-ip-network.html and https://blogs.cisco.com/news/cisco-and-reliance-jio-recognized-as-best-of-the-best-at-mobile-world-congress

[9] https://newsroom.cisco.com/press-release-content?type=webcontent&articleId=1913415


Dharmesh Malhotra

Managing Director Service Provider, ASEAN