Mobile World Congress 2015: The Year of Real Virtualization

It’s February and the temperature ice cold, but for the mobile industry 2015 is already getting steaming hot. As it has been every year since the creation of the biggest worldwide event in the mobile industry (the Mobile World Congress), we are in the crunch of getting everything sorted out and in line for showing off new game-changing product strategies for the next few years – with the acronym buzz coming from NFV, SDN, IoT, M2M, VoLTE to E2E and CDN.

kontron_blog_mobileworld2015Looking at the market trend in the telecom industry over the past few years – and the challenges ahead in the next five to 10 years – it clearly indicates a shift in business models on how to develop, generate and maintain revenue. The service provider community is rapidly shifting their services to match new technologies to simplify network topologies and deployment models. Mergers and acquisitions in the carrier and service provider environment remain an on-going strategy while content increases demand on the network, making it challenging to maintain profitability. As a chain reaction, the vendor community is adapting by creating solutions that are easier to implement, manage and scale in the network. As a result, hardware has become the “necessary evil” but remains a crucial element to serve the most dynamic demands ever placed on processing resources.

It needs to run somewhere.

With the changes in business models, the open question is how to unify network IT and telco IT beyond a virtual environment and manage them when network functions are becoming virtual resources in the network. Those are not the only issues to resolve in the next five to 10 years, however. Beyond virtualizing the network, media processing on standard hardware resources and managing those resources tops the list of priorities in virtual environments as content from everywhere-to-everywhere needs to be delivered, managed and optimized.

Creating a “multi-purpose” network infrastructure requires the innovation to move some of the purpose-built functionality of DSPs and FPGAs from the telco onto the more common network IT and telco IT environments. Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) of media platforms using standards-based architectures in real-time environments is one innovation we have figured out this year for service providers that are building a virtual environment for applications in telco IT, network IT, and ultimately in the cloud.

Even bigger is beyond what could be imagined

Other topics creating a buzz in the biz are “things” that are all connected to the Internet, also known as the Internet of Things (IoT) or Internet of Everything (IoE). Even bigger is beyond what could be imagined as everything will be measured, controlled, analysed, predicted, managed and, most importantly, connected. While IoT is not new in 2015, over the past few years adoption of the technology in various vertical markets and associated use cases has had some open gaps to close before its mainstream adoption by the industry could take place. I was just reading an article with a headline clearly stating that the focus of IoT adoption is not about the things that will be connected. The focus is on how to manage, secure and measure the things and the data that is collected, and what will be done with all that information. From secure end-to-end communications in the network, to big data analytics, there will be a gradual adoption of IoT in the industry. It will take time.

This year’s Mobile World Congress will demonstrate that the next move in next-generation services really lies in the hands of the service providers of the future. We at KONTRON think we have figured out how to help next-generation mobile, fixed and broadcast service providers get there with a new go-to-market strategy for 2015.

Come and see us, and our partner solutions, at Mobile World Congress, in Stand 5H19, Hall 5. As my favourite song from the new AC/DC album “Rock or Bust” says, “Let’s play ball!” See you in Barcelona.

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