CARRIER ETHERNET BUSINESS BRIEFING 2014: New services, new challenges

26 February 2014 | Guy Matthews

With service providers facing increased competition from OTT players, they need to be looking at new market opportunities.

However, as they launch new services, they must grapple with the growing quantities and complexity of the hardware in their networks. This creates challenges. Equipment certification takes time and the equipment creates cost pressures and the need for more space and power, at a time when both are becoming more expensive.

Some service providers are looking instead at network functions virtualisation (NFV) as the answer to their problems in the provisioning of new services. NFV differs from regular network virtualisation by virtualising not so much the functionality of the network, but the services that run over it.

Network functions are delivered as software that can be deployed at locations in the network as required, without the need to install equipment each time. It is applicable to any network function, in both mobile and fixed networks, and is complementary to software defined networking (SDN) but not dependant on it. Virtual appliances might be configured using SDN capabilities and they might be connected via overlay network tunnels in clusters, based on an application or based on the needs of an organisation.

Topics: Carrier, Ethernet, OTT, CE, 2.0, NFV, SDN, hardware, equipment