Modern consumers want the latest and greatest. Thus, service providers are also need to evolve and innovate to address the changing customer requirements.
Digitization, Automation, Machine learning, and Cloud are all advancements that have changed the way business function. Modern consumers want the latest and greatest. Thus, service providers are also need to evolve and innovate to address the changing customer requirements. With the progressive growth in the service provider segment, it is key to get an edge over the competition and remain relevant to the industry. Service providers need to launch and monetize new services, attract new customers and, ultimately, increase revenue. How can service providers prepare themselves to sustain in this ever-evolving environment?
Service providers face their biggest challenges when it comes to service diversification and differentiation — what are you doing that the others are not? And while it’s a hurdle, it’s also a great opportunity to take charge and pull ahead of the pack.
The ability to seamlessly update your networks to prepare for the shift to 5G, the evolving cyber security threat landscape, the massive number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices that will soon connect and the transition to IPv6 will put you out front.
Now more than ever, customers want instant gratification. If a service suffers even the smallest of hiccups or falls behind the curve, that’s a blemish that may never clear. Scalability, high-performance and availability aren’t nice to haves, they’re must haves.
So what can service providers do to future-proof their network and prepare for what’s next? Here are four steps:
Prepare for 5G: The transition to 5G is coming. Along with the promise of reduced network latency and much higher data rates, such as the ability to download an entire movie in seconds versus minutes, 5G brings with it a massive influx of connected IoT devices that can pose serious security threats. Service providers need to start planning for the transition to 5G now to ensure their network is up to snuff.
Preserve IPv4 addresses: As service providers prepare for IPv4 exhaustion and migration to IPv6, they must have a plan in place. Service providers need solutions that not only preserve their pool of IPv4 addresses, but also provide a seamless migration path to IPv6. By extending the service life of their IPv4 infrastructure, they’ll buy themselves time to plan for IPv6 while reducing costs by avoiding disruptions to business operations.
Focus on scale: Increase the availability and operational efficiency of the applications by implementing solutions that auto-scale as services demand increases. Nothing will hurt more than service disruption due to popularity. Don’t let the success be a failure. Scale will also be a factor when more devices start connecting to the network when 5G comes fully online.
Ensure security: Can service providers afford downtime or disruption due to a DDoS attack? A security breach not only costs service providers downtime, but also reputation damage and customer churn. Thus ensuring proper security in place to protect against volumetric DDoS attacks is critical. In this era of massive, multi-vector attacks, service providers should find solutions that scale to defend against attacks that exceed 1 Tbps.
The first step to reducing costs is whittling down legacy infrastructure. Modernizing and reducing hardware footprint with more powerful, more compact and more environmentally friendly boxes reduces capital expenditure. SDN, NVF and cloud are part of the solution where they improve operational efficiency and reduce costs.
Adopting software-defined networking (SDN) is one way service providers can leverage cutting-edge technologies that, while still relatively new, are already proven to cut costs.
Similar to server virtualization, NFV decouples network services from the hardware, allowing service providers to move networking components and functions away from dedicated appliances and to host them as virtual machines. In the end, this means less hardware, fewer devices and lower costs.
Then there’s the cloud which works on consumption model. This means users pay for what they use and when it is used. With the cloud, one can auto-scale to meet demand and then automatically reduce capacity once that demand normalizes.
Usually service providers tend to leverage existing chassis routers by adding software modules to line cards versus using a purpose-built platform for CGNAT functionality. This may make financial sense in the shorter term, but as subscribers scale up, they will incur a monstrous CapEx bump as new chassis need to be added to meet subscriber growth – this growth means more capacity, which means more hardware, which means more spend. Optimizing hardware and going away from chassis-based solutions can reduce the management demand, meaning instead of putting out fires, your team can be innovating, launching new services and ensuring customers are satisfied.
So, are you and your service provider ready for the future?