2G, 3G, 4G, 5G.
CDMA, TDMA, GSM, 5G NR.
Frame relay, ATM, ISDN, SONET.
People used to think network operators like the telcos were slow to adopt new technologies. And some still do.
They’re not wrong. After all, it does take a fair amount of time for communications service providers to justify, review, select, test, and roll out new technologies and solutions. Doing all that can be expensive and complicated.
But a look at the partial list of network technologies above offers a reminder about how truly adaptive CSPs have been over the past few decades. And now they’re working to adapt again.
This time around they’re moving to adopt open, software-based technologies and architectures. They’re doing that in an effort to automate more network processes by using analytics, encryption, and preset policy. That should allow them to make more informed decisions, be more responsive, better scale their networks, and keep those networks and applications and data associated with them more secure.
It’s not just the CSPs like telcos and cablecos that are moving in this direction. Companies like Amazon, Facebook (News - Alert), and Google are doing it too. In fact, they pioneered this kind of thing. And now other enterprises are considering and adopting more adaptive and software-centric networks as well.
Among the tools in their new toolboxes are:
• cloud solutions
• hyperscale data centers
• open source technology
• virtual machines
• web-scale networks
• and more
But network transformation is about more than just embracing new technology. It’s about using that technology in a way that helps deliver the desired business results. In the process, network operators want to try to contain their costs and optimize the investments they do make.
That requires them to have the talent they need to define business goals and choose the right technologies, suppliers, and strategies to achieve them. This talent needs a good mix of technological know-how and business acumen.
Because business models have changed so radically in recent years and networking technology have advanced rapidly, and because unemployment is low, many businesses find it makes sense train their own people to meet their new talent needs. That training may include attending conferences, getting hands-on experience, working toward certification, or taking in-person or online classes. Providing staff with a knowledgebase can also be helpful.
Edited by Maurice Nagle