Telecommunication operators will refocus spending saved from the increased use of software and virtualization on innovation, according to Nokia. The infrastructure vendor explained that while arguments around whether software and virtualization will impact CapEx or OpEx have raged for years, the true impact is much broader. “I don’t think this is cost driven,” said Bhaskar Gorti, president of applications and analytics at Nokia, speaking on the move by telecom operators in deploying software-defined platforms. “The net-net costs will not come down. The spend will just get revectored. A lot of the money in the past was on just keeping the lights on and less on innovation. This move will redirect spending into R&D for differentiation.” Others tout the network savings from increased use of automation. “When you take a centralized network and distribute it, it becomes more complex to manage. That’s the opposite of what customers want,” said Mike Murphy, CTO for North America at Nokia, during the recent Mobile World Congress Americas event. “They want to lower operating expense. That then brings in automation, virtualization, and SON [self-optimizing networks].” Murphy’s comments did lean toward potential OpEx savings. He claimed there will never be a CapEx advantage in migrating radio access network (RAN) assets to a virtualized environment. In fact, Murphy said price comparisons from 18 months ago showed a more than 10-times CapEx price difference in favor of not virtualizing RAN assets. That has since moved down to just a 5x or 6x difference. “The whole picture is that in a larger scale and over a longer time period [virtualization] will be more cost effective,” Murphy said. Nokia Software Focus Nokia created its standalone software business last year, taking advantage of the work at Bell Labs it acquired when it purchased Alcatel-Lucent. Gorti said the company has started to see traction with its software moves. “We are seeing traction with customers as part of the overall transformation of the market,” he said. “The people and processes are changing, and it’s become visible within many of these organizations.” As an example, Gorti noted a recent visit to Verizon’s headquarters showed a very different company then what he had seen from past visits. “It does not look like an old telecom facility anymore,” Gorti said. “It’s now very streamlined.” However, he did explain that retraining of the workforce to take advantage of software innovation remains a challenge. “We see a lot of operators working on getting their workforce to think differently with more of a DevOps model, Gorti said. “That’s really a lot of the focus now, and is even something that we are working through internally.” Open Source is Not Free Nokia controls a substantial portfolio of intellectual property patents, though it is in the process of monetizing some of those assets. Even with its portfolio, Gorti said the company is actively taking advantage of open source work as the foundation for many of its software platforms. “Open source is not free,” Gorti said. “It does provide more choice, but you still need to put it together for a business outcome. It makes more sense to spend it there than to go and drill your own oil well.” Nokia is also looking to expand outside of its core communication service provider (CSP) business. Speaking at last week’s Mobile World Congress Americas event, Ricky Corker, head of the North American Market at Nokia, said this includes expansion into large enterprises, the public sector, and public safety. Corker said the efforts will take advantage of the company’s already embedded portfolio of products to go directly to new market segments, as well as working with service provider partners in targeting those markets. Corker added Nokia is also “heavily engaged in the webscale space.” “We continue to believe that’s an important strategy for us, but not forgetting that CSPs are our core business,” Corker said. Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri recently warned that the company expects market conditions to be more challenging this year than it had previously expected and is forecasting a 3 percent to 5 percent decline in 2017. While the equipment maker’s second quarter profitability was strong, the company did report that its network division sales were down 5 percent primarily due to weakness in the mobile sector. “The second quarter showed ongoing challenging market conditions,” said Suri during the investor call.
Hyperconnectivity and IoT Set to Radically Disrupt Cyber by 2019
Hyperconnectivity driven by the rise of the digital-everything economy and the internet of things (IoT) wil...
Other content in this Stream
AI Doesn’t Eliminate Jobs, It Creates Them
Automation and AI are not eliminating jobs, they are creating them — high-paying, high-level and secure ones at that — at an unprecedented rate. As the levels of data continue to grow, that will...
ETSI's Zero-Touch Group Launches First PoC, Focused on 5G Slicing
Ambitious effort tackles what's needed to automate service delivery across domains, including multivendor gear.
SDNs and NFV are complementary and core components of modernized networks
The terms software defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) are often used interchangeably, which is incorrect. In a sense, the two are tied together as companies start...
Web Application Firewalls Adjust to Secure the Cloud
Cloud-based WAFs protect applications without the costs and complexity of on-prem hardware. Here's what to keep in mind as you browse the growing market.
Fortinet Expands Global Managed Security Service Provider Program with New Services Enablement and Technical Support Offerings
How Fortinet Connects with Communications Service Providers (CSPs)
Fortinet’s charter with CSPs is to interpret market trends, address key issues, and help drive carrier businesses forward. By improving your competitive positioning, we help everyone make money....
Empowering Security in the CSP’s IoT Infrastructure and Services
CSPs are well-positioned to benefit from the continuing growth of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and related systems—but only as long as the infrastructure can support some IoT-specific...
Fortinet Acquires Bradford Networks
Learn more about how the combination of Fortinet and Bradford Networks extends segmentation and security to the enterprise network edge.
MEF Announces Progress on Multi-Vendor SD-WAN
Implementation project involving four vendors uses central gateway and common northbound API to enable service orchestration over 3 platforms.
Verizon's Hakl on the importance of proactive management of network topology
In the traditional telco world, a customer was often the alarm when something failed, but with today's complex networks telcos need to be proactive. Verizon's Shawn Hakl said that by managing...
AT&T Wraps Google Cloud Into Its NetBond for Cloud Platform
The agreement was fostered by Google’s April launch of its Partner Interconnect platform. Visit us at www.sdncentral.com for the complete article.
IDG Contributor Network: The impact of human behavior on security
I recently saw an ad that read, “Security starts with people,” and it gave me pause. After twenty years in security, I’ve learned that security problems typically start with people, and having...
Fortinet Security Fabric Connectors Automate Management for Multi-Vendor Environments
It does this through one-click integrations with partners including AWS, Cisco ACI, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, and VMware NSX.
Get Ready for Real Disruption: The State of NFV | Contributed Art
During the last five years, the state of NFV has been heating up, but in order to reach the next steps of innovation and growth the market must fill a numbe
How Your Approach to SD-WAN Can Impact Your Network Security
Light Reading's flagship Big Communications Event is being held in Austin, Texas May 14-16, and Fortinet is proud to be a Gold sponsor for this year’s event. The conference, hosted by Heavy...
CSPs bullish on digital transformations in theory but lacking in execution
While communications service providers (CSPs) realize the importance of implementing digital transformation strategies via partner ecosystems, the follow-through has largely been lacking. A study...
Thinking beyond the box – how Software Defined Networks are changing the future of connectivity
Software-Defined Networking is fast becoming THE must have technology. Verizon sponsored survey points to increased understanding of virtualization benefits.
GTT's Sahim: Standards Could Speed SD-WAN Adoption
Kevin Sahim, VP of Engineering, GTT, explains how service providers' delivery of multiple circuit options and hybrid security are important features for enterprise customers adopting SD-WAN.
Service Providers Grapple With ‘VNF Islands’
Newly released SDxCentral 2018 report on the VNF Ecosystem finds SD-WAN and vCPE are top use cases for NFV and the driving force behind service providers virtualizing their networks. Visit us at...
Fortinet Fabric Connectors: Enabling Deep Fabric Integration With Third Party Solutions