The Digital Telco: Leveraging transformation to identify new partnership opportunities
In the third and final blog of our series focusing on the network modernisation and transformation journey communications service providers (CSPs) are facing today, Ciena’s Matt Vesperman details how emerging technologies like 5G and edge computing are helping CSPs identify new transformation opportunities and partnerships.
As we discussed in blog 1 and blog 2 of this series, technologies previously thought futuristic – such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and machine learning - are moving into the mainstream, and creating massive volumes of data that put even more pressure on data networks.
Many communications service providers (CSPs) are transforming their networks to meet a surging demand for both capacity and speed, while needing to upgrade legacy infrastructure to deliver the experience levels and reliability expected by customers.
An inextricable link
What is causing this network transformation? One of the key drivers is the complexity created by the rollout of 5G and the proliferation of small cell devices which need to be managed on the network, making legacy manual processes unsustainable and prompting a rethink on operational management.
This brings with it a need to bring computational processing closer to the end-user in order to mitigate latency caused when processing occurs in centralised cloud data centres, resulting in the growth of edge computing. This will become increasingly critical as advanced, data-heavy Internet-of-Things (IoT) applications are developed – ranging from smart consumer devices to driverless vehicles, automated factories, remote e-health services and AI-driven city management – which require enormous amounts of information processing and low latency to operate safely and effectively.
We are already seeing CSPs forming partnerships with other companies in the telecommunications space to ensure the viability of services. These include organisations many might not immediately associate with telco, such as logistics firms, healthcare providers, and even agricultural cooperatives.
New partnership opportunities
Taking full advantage of these new technologies will require a core network that is highly virtualised and distributed. This network must also be far more autonomous – capable of configuring, optimising, and even healing itself without the need for human intervention.
This will provide many lucrative opportunities for new on-demand and flexible business models and will allow CSPs to expand into new verticals. Rather than considering the network as simply for connectivity and transport, CSPs are now leveraging already established backhaul networks and existing know-how on enhanced networks to consider new services to add into their portfolios. In turn this allows customers to take advantage of enhanced services or develop new offerings for ultimate end-users.
Broadening into new and diverse verticals will require collaboration, however. We are already seeing CSPs forming partnerships with other companies in the telecommunications space to ensure the viability of services. These include organisations many might not immediately associate with telco, such as logistics firms, healthcare providers, and even agricultural cooperatives.
By engaging in these relationships, CSPs are demonstrating the technological potential of 5G and edge computing. This opens new opportunities to pitch their capabilities and offerings to current and potential customers so that CSPs may truly harness the monetisation potential of the latest in communications technologies.
Opportunities provide dividends to those who seize them. Download the latest white paper from Ciena and IT News for a roadmap of what’s ahead for the telco industry and start identifying new services and verticals that CSPs can consider expanding into.