Big Telecom issues back to Chicago: This year’s inaugural “BIG Telecom Event” hosted by Light Reading demonstrated that the evolution is not over yet, and services can be delivered by re-engineering the network infrastructure, basically a shift from legacy components to more simplified components for the application, protocol, management and hardware layers. And so in a way it’s no surprise we’re once again back in Chicago. Supercomm truly feels like yesterday.
The BIG Telecom Event was a big “eye opener” on how services are created and managed without the infrastructure cost as we knew it. “Virtualizing Everything” seems to be the “next big thing” but BTE unveiled that there are still gaps to get there. How to address these technology gaps became a great focus of conversation during the conference portion, and yet, attendees could actually see real exhibitor proof of concepts (it was a prerequisite to be an exhibitor) that are driving the innovations in the network. No longer an old boring product pitch “why the RAZR I is better than any other phone…because it’s thinner”, like 10 years ago, but more how to innovate the service model in the network.
Finally, Telecom back in Windy City
I remember several years ago when Chicago was the hot-spot for all telecom events in North America, and back then Supercomm was the biggest event when VoIP and 3G were the next big thing of the present and the future. Back in the days, Alcatel was Alcatel (the French company), Lucent was Lucent, Siemens was Siemens, Nokia was Nokia and Motorola was one of the biggest players in everything. Google was still only considered “the next big thing” and Facebook was a startup with a new model that no one really understood at the time any of the whys and hows. Back then, Motorola introduced the “RAZR” flip phone’s newest feature – “thinner than the last one”.
The ATCA Standard – “It has to run somewhere on something”
This was also the period when Advanced Telecommunication Computing Architecture (ATCA) was introduced and launched a whole new business model to reduce network infrastructure costs by standardizing and commoditizing the hardware layer in network infrastructure equipment. Seemed like an excellent idea and everyone in that arena focused on how equipment vendors could be more competitive with their applications with a much faster time to market. Oh, and by the way, Intel introduced Dual Core. Wow! This was almost 10 years ago and the Supercomm event was the place to be to have a name in telecom. Things definitely changed since then in one of the most dynamic industries and, aside from mergers, consolidations and separations among the major players of equipment providers, system-level architectures continued to evolve and be more simplified. These architectures show the future of networking and how clearly open infrastructure and virtualization will pave the way to a new network. However, that doesn’t mean that hardware will disappear. “It has to run somewhere on something” and that is the shift on what is currently going on.
Welcome to 2014! What is your experience with virtualization, open infrastructure and innovation in the network, which challenges and technology gaps will we have to face in the future? I am looking forward to sharing your experience and point of view.