NFV on its Own Isn’t the Key, It’s a Component for Creating Virtualised Learn Fast Capabilities for Operators
July 28, 2014 - Aleks
Mobile operators of all sizes in all parts of the world have a lot in common. They’re seeing increased competition from over-the-top providers and are struggling to grow or even maintain customer revenues and margins. Already they are finding it difficult to keep up with the huge increases in data usage using the traditional hardware-based proprietary appliance deployment model. As these hardware appliances become increasingly complex, the procure-designintegrate- deploy cycle required impacts the roll out of new revenue earning network services and constrains innovation.
The pressure comes from operators’ heritage of only offering a limited number of services requiring a low level of interaction with customers, but the emergence of the smartphone has changed that.
Operators are increasingly becoming digital service providers offering a very diverse set of services and products. Operators today need more real-time customer engagement models rather than post event SMS messages and paper billing. They are beginning to virtualise their network operations using network functions virtualisation, but those benefits will only be fully-realised if the OSS/BSS — the control plane — is also virtualised and able to provide the flexibility and agility required.
In fact, given that a full end-to-end NFV may take many years to roll-out, operators are looking at whether they should focus first on virtualising OSS/ BSS to create more flexible service innovation environments that can work across both traditional and virtualised network infrastructure, feeding and being fed from orchestration. The market reality will be a mode of dual running of multiple types of infrastructure and the role of flexible OSS will be even more important because of that.