How NFV, SDN and Big Data will drive future growth in T&M

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Whether it is NFV, SDN, Big Data or Cloud, the telecom industry is fast moving towards embracing the next generation standards in the communications space and it is Test and Measurement focused organizations such as JDSU, which are always on the forefront of adopting next generation standards well in advance, so that the stakeholders can derive the best from these technological advancements.

Sandeep-Kapoor-JDSU

In an exclusive discussion with Zia Askari from TelecomDrive.com, Sandeep Kapoor, Country Manager, JDSU India, shares core strategic views of the company’s Network and Service Enablement business segment, which provides test and measurement to operators worldwide, including India.

What are some of key focus areas for your organization when it comes to addressing the T&M space?

JDSU’s Network and Service Enablement business segment is comprised of test instruments, software, and expertise used by the world’s leading enterprises and communication service providers, helping to make networks around the world, including India, faster and more reliable.

As we like to say, innovation for business purpose is our mission. At a time when our customers face the fast-paced impact of technology change, JDSU is a trusted advisor providing leading test solutions to meet technical and economic needs driven by growing trends such as big data, cloud, mobility, software defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV).

For JDSU, the Network Enablement business has maintained a number one position in field test instruments, gaining share and turning in strong performances in fiber, broadband access, and wireless network enablement solutions. In Service Enablement, we are committed to support our customers’ moves to SDN and NFV technologies, and to increase software content.

Today’s telecom networks are increasingly becoming complex and at times involve multiple set of technologies such as 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi.  How better Test and Measurement techniques can drive better QoS for these networks?

Mobile operators worldwide face the fast pace of change in technology – JDSU collaborates with them to help ensure network and service quality. In this environment, JDSU sees that operators will increasingly look to technologies such as mobile small cells, virtualized networks, and assurance/analytics systems to implement and achieve business goals.

From a network and service enablement perspective, this will accelerate trends including mobile network expansion using a combination of technologies such as LTE/LTE-A small cells, macro cell expansion, and carrier WiFi.  In addition, an expansion of Ethernet/IP backhaul networks to support this growth. Operators are also moving towards an increased implementation of network virtualization to scale network reach and performance, as well as enable vertical specific implementations.

It depends on the type of network or service, but, the critical phases of test for LTE, for example, include planning and pre-deployment testing, which ensures services and performance work in the lab as well as pre-deployment testing of services before the user experiences them.  Construct and turn-up, which entails fiber testing, radio frequency (RF) and RAN testing. And, lastly, manage and optimize, which includes troubleshooting service affecting issues and optimizing the RAN (RF and app data).

Location intelligence, performance management, assurance and analytics that provide real time customized key performance indicators regarding network heath, service performance, and quality are also key to ensuring quality in the environment of Internet of Things (IoT), heterogenous networks (HetNets) and other emerging, future technology trends.

What are some of the big growth geographies for your organization?

JDSU is a worldwide provider of network and service enablement solution, supporting enterprises and communications service providers across EMEA, AP, and North America. There are a number of opportunities – just look at the global statistics on connected devices alone.

According to market research firms, 12.5 billion devices were connected to the internet in 2010. This figure is expected to double by 2015 and to double again to 50 billion devices by 2020, creating enormous wired and wireless data traffic demand and massive network management challenges.  In this environment, network architectures, management solutions, and business models are evolving rapidly. This evolution creates opportunities for carriers, service providers, network equipment manufacturers, enterprise Web 2.0 players, and key enablers like JDSU to capitalize on these trends.

As recently reported in JDSU’s earnings, geographically, in the Americas providers and carriers wrestled with major network architectural decisions and consolidation efforts – there are lots of opportunities. Europe saw EMEA revenues up. In the Asia-Pacific region, notably in China, there was a continued build-out of networks and investment in new technologies with revenue up compared to last year.

How does the company look at India as a key market opportunity? 

JDSU feels strongly about the Indian market.

Last year, for example, JDSU held an opening ceremony at its new IT development center in Shivajinagar, Pune, in the state of Maharashtra, India. The new IT center provides technology support for IT applications, projects and program implementations within JDSU. It will also play a key role in supporting JDSU’s focus on providing more software-based solutions to its customers. JDSU has offices in Mumbai, Bangalore, Gurgaon and Pune.

What are some of the market trends in T&M that are likely to shape the future growth for this segment?

The communications market itself is facing unprecedented change – mobile devices are skyrocketing, wireless apps and mobile video continue to grow, internet of things (IoT), connected cars, M2M, the cloud, Enterprise, 4G/LTE, LTE-Advanced, small cells, 100 G, fiber optics, location intelligence, and many more are gaining traction.

The fast paced changes in the communications field drives the various approaches providers must take to ensure network and service quality. Network function virtualization (NFV), software defined networks (SDN) and big data should rate high on anyone’s list as two major catalysts for future growth in test. It is still an incredible time for mobile data growth in the region.

The Indian market will continue to witness tremendous growth in mobile data.  And, this growth promises to increase the popularity of data-centric solutions. Other drivers include machine-to-machine connections, cloud computing adding to network complexity. Testing service quality above all is a major focus. Above all, the ability to provide a comprehensive set of network and service enablement tools and solutions that help plan, deploy, manage networks and services, and ensure a quality customer experience, are still critical no matter the architecture, network or service type.

 

Why NFV and SDN will be important for the T&M segment?

Across the communications industry NFV, has the ability to completely change how networks are designed, built and managed into the future.  It pulls the functions necessary to run networks off of the current proprietary hardware and places it on open-based computer servers that can be deployed where they are needed most.

Once NFV is in place, Software Defined Networks (SDN) can be deployed to provide an architectural approach that separates the control and data planes of a network. Through programmability, SDN provides greater control of a network, allowing applications and the network to better work together.

The benefits have not been lost on providers. More than 90% of providers worldwide are currently evaluating SDN. It is also estimated that annual spending on all SDN-related equipment could hit $29.5 billion per year by 2018, compared with less than $4.5 billion expected in 2014.

Most providers say they plan to deploy SDN and NFV in their networks within the next four years. Along with all of the benefits, there will be challenges. Over the years, providers have fine-tuned business processes that define the recipes for enabling, monitoring, and delivering services.

But in a dynamic, software-defined, virtualized network, what will the business processes look like? Providers must adapt their current processes, not only for a virtualized environment, but also for a hybrid virtual/physical environment since NFV and SDN won’t be deployed all at once.

Big Data is another good example.  The amount on information that is must be collected, processed and analyzed in order to operate, maintain, scale and monetize networks has become untenable.  Today’s data collection strategies don’t scale.  Today’s data analytics and real time reporting engines don’t scale, either. Even if systems can be fed from thousands of data points, with thousands of statistics every second, they will not be able to process the data and provide meaningful correlation. For providers of test, this presents growth opportunities.

By delivering and analyzing real time intelligence from the network edge, service providers can optimize performance, increase efficiency, and enhance customer experience. Customers can rapidly assess network performance to capture, correlate and correct service impacting issues.

Key performance indicators can be correlated to proactively optimize network parameters, policy, and quality of service to adjust to changing traffic and customer demands.  Customers can focus on the data that matters most in order to prevent and minimize service violations, preserving revenues and increasing customer satisfaction, and reduce churn.


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TelecomDrive Bureau covers the latest developments happening in the space of communications, devices and innovations in targeted geographies of India, SAARC, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa regions.TelecomDrive Bureau is headed by Zia Askari. He can be reached at ziaaskari@telecomdrive.com