There has to be a sea change in how mobile operators build their networks and implement new services, reports Stephen Lawson for Computerworld, and virtualization will make it possible, carriers and equipment vendors say.
Executives from established companies on both sides of the business told an audience at Mobile World Congress recently that a new day is coming and that is good news.
“What brought us here will not keep us here,” Ericsson Chief Technology Officer Ulf Ewaldsson said during a conference session at the tail end of the four-day mobile gathering.
Advances in virtualization, cloud computing and SDN (software-defined networking) from the IT world offer a way for mobile carriers to keep up with Internet-based service providers, the panelists said. Their industry is only starting to figure out how to embrace these advances and there’s much more work to be done in a variety of related organizations, they said.
The overall effort, called NFV (network functions virtualization), seeks to separate the software that controls mobile services from the equipment that handles mobile traffic. It’s the same basic idea behind SDN in data centers but has particular implications for the mobile world, the panelists said. Work already done on SDN can give the mobile effort a leg up, they said.
A combination of SDN and NFV will make it easier and faster to change how the network operates and open the door to applications that aren’t possible today, the report finds.