Automation will help Operators stay relevant in the Networked Society

As the Networked Society becomes the norm, costs are increasing for telecom operators but revenues are not. Automation will help them stay relevant.

The Networked Society is not our vision of a distant future; it has most certainly already begun. The past few decades have seen more change than in the entire industrial age and today mobile data traffic is growing at such a rate that in the next five years it is expected to have grown up to 14 times compared to today.

With the Networked Society becoming the norm, the number of connected devices is projected to reach 25 billion by 2020 – up from 15 billion today, according to the most recent Ericsson Mobility Report. While both capex and opex costs are increasing for telecom operators to support this growth, revenues are not increasing proportionally. In order to remain relevant and continue to be competitive, telecom operators really need to transform their networks.

Network Service Automation is the key to network transformation. It has been enabled by recent advances in Virtualization, Cloud and Software-Defined Networking technologies, along with programmable interfaces exposed by the network services. Not only that, but ETSI NFV ISG created an architectural framework based on these technologies to help transform the networks.

Making the infrastructure a cloud environment using standardized servers and running network functions require a decoupling of network function software from hardware using virtualization technologies. Furthermore, redesigning network functions as cloud-native applications will only go to help optimal resource utilization. Adopting disaggregation architectures will then further improve resource utilization at a component level.

Reflections by Ericsson

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Written by:

Martin Bäckström

VP Datacom, Ericsson CTO office


Martin Bäckström has more than 20 years of strong experience in Wireless Data and track record in managing technology, products, and solutions designed to support business requirements. He is responsible for bringing IT technologies into the telecom space and fostering close cooperation between industries in areas such as Cloud, Virtualization, SDN and Analytics.