Telco/vendor relationships in the spotlight

  • DSP Leaders World Forum session focuses on telecoms ecosystem
  • Traditional procurement processes no longer fit for purpose, says DT exec
  • Open source needs to be factored into plans
  • Industry needs to find better ways to include startups in ecosystem processes 

The traditional relationships between telcos and their suppliers, and between the standards bodies and open source community, need to be revamped to enable faster innovation and more suitable development and procurement processes, according to key panellists who participated in the DSP Leaders World Forum 2020 discussion Expanding and Coordinating the Open Telecoms Ecosystem.

While there are signs that barriers are coming down between the traditional telecoms infrastructure and networking world and the world of open source software and disaggregated systems, there’s still a long way to go before a new ecosystem is up and running. 

Klaus Martiny, Senior Programme Manager at Deutsche Telekom and chair of ETSI’s Zero Touch Network and Service Management (ZSM) industry specification group (ISG), said procurement processes need updating to focus less on price negotiations and more on partnership and collaboration models. 

He also noted that the industry needs greater collaboration between the standards bodies and open source groups if it is to meet the needs of network operators that need greater innovation and flexibility in their operations and processes. In particular it’s important that innovative technology startups get the chance to have a say in standards processes, something they currently are unable to do because of the resources and finances needed to participate.

Chris Price, President at Ericsson Software Technology, noted that open source technology is now making its way into telco networks and systems “in a controlled way” that still enables them to meet their regulatory requirements: “It’s a delicate balance,” he stated. 

Ildiko Vancsa, Ecosystem Technical Lead at the OpenStack Foundation, agreed that process has been made in open source adoption: “The telco industry is not as closed as it used to be.”

But there’s still a level of frustration at the rate of progress: David Boswarthick, Director of New Technologies at ETSI urged the industry to “talk less and act more… let’s get proofs of concept out there, let’s get demos and education.”

Check out the full panel discussion here

The development of the telecoms ecosystem will also be discussed during our upcoming Extra Shot programs, which will look back at the highlights of the online DSP Leaders event, include the views of special guests and take a serious look at how coffee and cocktails can help us all through the ongoing lockdown. Look out for further details of the Extra Shot programs. 

  • Ray Le Maistre, Editorial Director, TelecomTV

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