Carrier Network Virtualization 2016: The Future of 5G and System Integrators
I recently had the opportunity to participate in a panel discussing 5G and future networks at the Carrier Network Virtualization conference. We had a lively discussion on communications service providers’ requirements that are driving the transition to 5G networks. This includes the acceleration of new service delivery, vast IoT applications, and the requirement for an open multi-vendor mobile network.
When it comes to 5G and deploying an open multi-vendor mobile network, standardization including open source and interoperability are the bases on which these deployments must be built. However, one of the main topics that came out of this discussion was whether or not defining a standard or using open source technologies will actually guarantee interoperability. And with the lack of interoperability for open source and with standards developing at a slow pace, we also discussed how communications service providers are turning to vendors thatcan provide open source software and hardware that are ready for deployment
A major effort for 5G and virtualization that is gaining traction is Mobile Central Office Re-Architected as a Datacenter (M-CORD). M-CORD is an open source project that Radisys is deeply engaged on with the global service provider and vendor community. It is built on top of Open Network Operating System (ONOS) and the open CORD project which combines data center economics and the agility of the cloud. M-CORD also comes with a reference design and proof-of-concept, both of which will provide much closer interoperability for 5G.
Open source technologies come with their own set of challenges, including performance, code quality and integration issues. This is where system integrators such as Radisys come in. System integrators can ensure that all of the components interoperate and ensure the source code is secure and able to scale to the need for new services and IoT applications.
At Radisys, we recently announced the contribution of our Evolved Packet Core (EPC) software as open source code to the M-CORD project. One question that I got from other vendors during this event is “how will you make money?” or “where’s the ROI?” At Radisys, we understand that communications service providers are embracing open source and we’re part of the evolution. By taking a lead role in providing open source software and hardware, we’re positioning ourselves as the system integrator for technologies such as M-CORD and helping our customers deploy in live networks with confidence. Radisys has helped top-tier communications service provider to deploy NFV in their 4G network today and we will continue to do so for their 5G networks.
I had a great time discussing the future of telecoms and 5G with communication service providers and vendors. The entire Carrier Network Virtualization event was informative and exploratory as it shed light on the path that the telecom industry must take in order to meet technological needs. Radisys is expanding our system integration services and will continue to help pave the path to 5G network deployment. For more information on the products and services that Radisys provides, contact us today.