As the year comes to a close and we wrap up 2018 with friends, family, and holiday celebrations, many of us are focused on buying gifts, filling the pantry, and heading to the airport. But businesses are already looking to the year ahead, what that might bring, and how to prepare for it so they can position themselves and their customers for what’s next. Here’s a look at two of the most important networking trends for 2019.
There was a lot of activity around 5G in 2018. We can expect 5G efforts to accelerate in the year ahead. In fact, Anup Changaroth of Ciena says 5G will be the biggest telecom trend of 2019, particularly in the Asia Pacific region.
“While volume 5G-related capex spend is expected in 2020 and beyond, within Asia Pacific we will see early 5G metropolitan deployments in major cities such as Tokyo, Seoul, Singapore, Hong Kong and Sydney that coincide with early 5G mobile handset availability within the second half of 2019,” says Changaroth, senior director of strategic business development and Asia Pacific & Japan CTO for Ciena. “The more significant initial application opportunities, though, will be for 5G fixed-wireless access solutions in markets without widespread broadband access such as India, China, Indonesia, Philippines, and Thailand. These and other 5G-related initiatives will drive mobile operators across Asia Pacific to enhance their network infrastructure from early 2019 in five key areas.”
For example, he says, network operators will invest in implementing automation and orchestration across core, RAN, and transport domains. They will add more fiber to their networks to support the addition of 5G radios and services. Network operators will work to implement end-to-end service assurance processes and solutions. And they will leverage disaggregation and virtualization strategies and technologies to allow for network upscaling and optimal performance.
Artificial intelligence is another important technology trend. It was a hot topic in 2018. And we’ll most certainly hear more about and see some actual implementations of it in 2019.
AI and machine learning have applications across a range of applications. In business communications, these technologies can work to configure conference rooms and communications systems to users’ preferred settings. Customer service, product development, marketing, and sales team members can leverage AI and ML to segment and better understands customers and prospects, and to predict what solutions and messages will best resonate with individual customers.
Meanwhile, network operators and IT teams can leverage AI and ML to ensure application and network performance. AI and ML can help organizations monitor complex, multi-stack networks to look for and address potential cybersecurity risks. And the automation AI and ML enable can allow network operators to trigger actions based on pre-set policy.
“I fully expect 2019 will be the year that AI tools start to proliferate within service provider infrastructure. Once again Ciena has had a head-start, as we have been commercially shipping AI based applications and services that help service providers in optimizing operational efficiency and get started with this important trend.”
Edited by Maurice Nagle