(This article by Vasona CTO Rui Frazao was featured this week in The Fast Mode)
With Mobile World Congress on the horizon, this is the time of year technologists often can’t wait to start talking about what comes next. But this year has to be different – talk must quickly become action. Because from what we’re hearing, while operators are eager to adopt and continue driving key tech innovations, they are finding it challenging to make it all work together in their networks.
So in 2018, we must also not lose focus of the big advancements from recent years that operators are eager to deploy today. With that in mind, here’s Vasona’s take on the top priorities and innovations that we think will make mobile’s biggest tech moments of the year.
#1: THE GREAT NETWORK CONSOLIDATION
While we wait to see if a long anticipated mobile mega-merger shakes out in 2018, consolidation in the network is inevitable. Vendors have raced an expanding set of solutions to market, leaving operators scratching their heads, trying to figure out how to actually deploy all this disparate tech. In the meantime, the Microsofts and Amazons of the world are breathing down their necks, amassing global scale and building data centers closer to the network edge. In 2018, vendors must come together to help make virtual infrastructures easier to deploy, disparate tech easier to consolidate and ROI outcomes more obvious. That is the only way valuable technologies will truly gain adoption.
#2: OPEN SOURCE IN (ALMOST) EVERYTHING
As much as we’d like to think that SDN, NFV and MEC are each ready to independently support any need on the path to 5G, operators aren’t so sure. All signs are pointing to operator-driven technology interoperability gained by turning core functionalities over to the open source community. Increasing tier-one operator involvement in movements like ONAP (Open Network Automation Platform) will necessitate vendors getting involved, opening internal elements of solutions that, while standards-based, today remain proprietary. This will have trickle-down impacts, including advancing technology development and deployment for emerging markets.