CSPs and vendors should remember the hyping of NFV and not over-promise on 5G

Martyn Warwick
By Martyn Warwick

Jun 12, 2019

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Yves Bellégo, Director, Network Strategy, Orange

Yves Bellégo explains that not every part of a CSP's network infrastructure will have to be immediately renewed in the brave new world of 5G. Various components such as towers, pylons and fibre optic cabling, which were hugely expensive to deploy in the first place, will be left in situ and continue to be used for many years to come whilst the investment required to bring 5G functions into Orange's 5G data centres, although significant, is actually less costly in real terms - but will take time to deploy and bed-in.

He also warns the industry not to continue to overhype 5G and to learn the lesson of those companies and telcos that over-promised on NFV. He says that 5G undoubtedly has huge potential, but just like NFV, the fact is that it will take time to deploy and fully realise. As he says, NFV is now becoming a reality but players were told that it would be available years ago and when it wasn't the market was disappointed and disillusioned and the technology and vendors suffered as a result. With 5G the industry must retain the confidence of the industry and customers and ensure that 5G, when it comes, will be truly extraordinary.

Yves Bellégo emphasises the need to reiterate the overarching message of virtualisation is that 5G needs to develop globally and that will take some time and CSPs need acknowledge to their potential customer base that all legacy services will be based on legacy infrastructure for the foreseeable future as 5G develops, spreads and, eventually, become ubiquitous.

He also believes that the global industry should not develop a large variety of virtualisation and 5G technologies but should concentrate on a limited number of different types of telco infrastructures on which vendors will be able to build VNFs. He says the industry must avoid the circumstance whereby each CSP, operator and telco can determine their own definition of network infrastructure because, in the end, that will become unmanageable for all the parties in the ecosystem. What is needed is a limited number of configurations and a narrowing of network profiles be that via standards, Open Source or a collaborative ecosystem.

Filmed at DSP Leaders Forum 2019, Windsor, UK

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