As I board the plane ready for the long flights to Barcelona, I’m excited and energised by the prospective of around 100 APAC customer meetings and Cisco technology demos. Hopefully when I get off the plane in the wee hours I’ll remain half as energised.
With all the discussions with Service Provider CxO teams on their expectations for the event, some common top of the mind issues or challenges for Cisco have emerged;
What are the Global trends in Traffic Demand?
Cisco VNI forecasts 10x Mobile Data traffic growth over the next 5-years, nothing new there, but where that traffic growth is coming from has new implications. Smartphone penetrations start to saturate, but Video and M2M remain key growth drivers to watch. Also VoWiFi (Voice over Wifi) usage could exceed VoLTE by 2017 having real implications for access and IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) networks.
Help me to monetise more of my network investment?
Again not a new request, as the OTT impact is the defining market transition of the time. With the OTTs global reach, reduced competitive barriers, and “start-up” pace of service innovation, Service Providers have long feared becoming no more than a “Dump Pipe”. But the truth is most Service Providers still don’t feel they have reached “Smart Pipe” status. This MWC the topics of Network Intelligence, Analytics and Quality of Experience will still be on the table. As will new revenue streams like MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) , Private LTE, Enterprise and M2M.
How do I capture the IoT/IoE opportunity?
The next evolution of the internet is to the “Internet of Everything”. Mobile Service Providers see the huge opportunity but have to invest in the right technology and strategic partnership now to capitalise.
How do I leverage NFV for my business?
Last year I would say virtualisation was still hype and slideware, this year it is real. The first Cisco Virtual Packet Cores (VPCs) are now taking live traffic, and carrier-grade data-centres are enabling Telco Cloud platforms. The conversation has now shifted from just saving TCO with NFV (Network Functions Virtualization), to how to transform operations to bring service time-to-market in line with the OTT world. I expect our Orchestration demos to be very popular.
What is the 5G vision?
I think there has been more than enough talk about what is “5G” and when will it arrive. The right conversation to have is around 5G as an evolution not a revolution. Having a 2020 vision of the business and technology demands is more important. Then working with a network partner like Cisco to plot the how the path to this “5G” world starts now. The Key technology enablers are already forming around, HetNet, NFV/SDN, and Network Intelligence. But we need to know how to leverage these in the right way.
I’m looking forward to all the new technology announcements and hype of MWC, but mostly I’m looking forward to sitting with the Service Providers and addressing their hot issues with Cisco solutions that get them just as energised for their long plane ride home.
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