Next-gen networks: Bigger and faster

28 April 2014 | Alexandre Pébereau


Will networks be submerged by a tsunami of data? That was the question raised by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) earlier this year.

Will networks be submerged by a tsunami of data? That was the question raised by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) earlier this year.

Capacity demand continues to escalate at a dynamic rhythm today: the usage of streaming, high-speed videos is rising; the faster the speeds mobile operators provide, the more consumers swallow it up and demand more. Worldwide traffic is set to increase three-fold over the next five years and the biggest demand for international bandwidth will come from Africa*.

Our world is increasingly connected; access to high-speed internet has become an essential part of our lives, at work and at play. We’re seeing record flow rates at record speeds day after day. Yet some 5 billion people around the world have yet to be connected to broadband.

The need to rethink future network design for bigger and better networks has become vital. What should the primary focus be? Clearly, we need to be able to accommodate the exploding growth in traffic – in all its guises – which means supplying enough high-capacity and improved resilience. However, we are faced with a quick-moving, ever-changing technology landscape which poses a real challenge for carriers.

What are the challenges for carriers? Making the IP promise happen! Ensuring the development of next-generation services over IPX. Participating in creating connectivity in emerging and developing markets. Delivering advanced and value-added business services to customers. The migration to all IP will bring modern, unified services that meet customers’ increasing bandwidth needs, enable smart access via a variety of devices and ensure the quality of “real-time” data streams such as VoIP.

With their extensive experience of both voice and data services, those carriers with a global reach have always been – and continue to be – well positioned to identify and to cope with the challenges that convergence brings: global carriers have a bird’s-eye view of the industry.

But these same carriers are facing competition from new and sprightly entrants to the ecosystem. Network sharing and joint investment in infrastructure are necessary to reinforce wholesalers’ differentiating position in the industry and respond to customers’ global expectations of quality of service, security, reliability and ease of doing business.

Networks can and will cope with the explosion of data and video traffic, future technologies and new customer needs. It’s all about smart planning, ensuring smart networks and smart services.


* Annual compound growth rate of 51% over the coming five years – Telegeography 2013.