Console Connect set to facilitate the softwarisation of PCCW Global

12 December 2017 | Jason Mcgee-Abe

Software has become the core strategy but physical network service providers aren’t necessarily at the core of software development, said Marc Halbfinger, CEO of PCCW Global, at Capacity Asia today.

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“We have built our network globally, which has over 600,000km of fibre wrapped around the globe, but how do we get closer to the edge?,” Halbfinger asked Capacity Asia delegates in Hong Kong during his Adapting Your Portfolio For Next-Generation Services presentation.

PCCW Global is certainly a physical network provider that is grasping softwarisation at the moment, particularly with its recent acquisition of the licensing and brand name of Console Connect. He stressed to delegates that we all need to get to an automated environment and many companies are often evolving from legacy environments that are manual in nature.

"Although they were very strong in software development, the piece that we didn’t hear about in the last two presentations” - which were by Osmond Ng, customer engineer, Asia at Google Cloud, and Wenfeng Liu, VP of IQIYI.COM, about the amalgamation of ICT types, AI, and various forms of cloud, to name but a few – “was how to get as close to the edge as possible."


“As the move towards more data-driven applications and big bandwidth videos becomes more critical, the first two presentations talked to us about what can be offered to us as a customer, or how to leverage our networks to facilitate distribution of their retail model, but the wholesale piece was not fully discussed.”

That’s what service providers need to address themselves though, Halbfinger stressed: “We shouldn’t look at OTTs as customers or disruptors but recognise that they are evolving the model. We’re the ones who aren’t evolving fast enough and we need to organise ourselves towards automation to provide accessibility.”

With big bandwidth videos becoming more critical, PCCW Global trialled a live 360-degree 4K live virtual stream at the Hong Kong Sevens back in April. "We didn’t just look to deliver the live stream but to store it," Halbfinger said. “At the 17-minute marker, my team updated me that we were up to 15Tb of storage and they asked me how much I wanted it to continue to. This is an indication that although there are applications which are evolving, the requirements to get to the behavioural insight will require infinitely more bandwidth and infinitely more storage capability and so on that even our early elements today of machine learning and AI capability are still not able to do,” added Halbfinger.

“Let’s not get scared that some of the larger players are evolving the model, still bandwidth connectivity, storage capability and getting as close to the edge to deliver applications will be critical, including video delivery.”

PCCW Global felt the need in its network to move from a physical component towards a software delivery to enhance deliverability and ensure that it can get to an automated software-based capability for delivery at the wholesale interconnect capability.

The Global Leaders Forum (GLF), which is associated with Capacity Media, researched and well-funded a very interesting document on the softwarisation of the network,” added Halbfinger. “It is a very valuable document which talks about how the physical aspects of the network needs to move towards softwarisation – where the physical and software network infrastructures integrate.”

The PCCW Global CEO said: “As a result the company recently acquired the assets, code, capability and most-importantly the people of Console Connect. We believe these will help drive PCCW Global to a new environment that will enable us to facilitate the softwarisation of the carrier.”

To read a more in-depth interview with Marc Halbfinger about the acquisition, please CLICK HERE

Topics: Software, Marc Halbfinger, PCCW Global, Capacity Asia, Asia, Console Connect, acquisition