Thoughts From Mobile World Congress: The Next Big Opportunity for Telco and Service Providers

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As I look back on my experience at Mobile World Congress (MWC) held last month in Barcelona, I’m struck by how rapidly the Telco and Service Provider industry is changing. As I mentioned in my previous post Telcos and service providers are all engaged in large, complex, multi-year infrastructure and service delivery transformations. The technology transformation is the replacement of dedicated network appliances such as routers and cellular network switches with software running on commercial off-the-shelf hardware. The industry term for this is Network Functions Virtualization (NFV). The aim of NFV is to reduce the time to service, and cost for Communication Service Providers (CSPs) to deliver network services.

Different providers are taking different approaches to their transformation and the technologies they use. Some are building new services on custom, bespoke technology stacks while others are looking to implement blueprint based systems, but at a smaller scale, and cost. At Mobile World Congress we introduced the EMC Provider Cloud System (PCS). PCS is a reference architecture for communications service providers that leverages EMC’s strong industry expertise and Telco grade product portfolio. PCS is designed to accelerate the transformation of service delivery for CSPs. In what I believe is a transformation milestone for the industry, we’re now seeing the industry-focus change from architecting infrastructure solutions to deploying repeatable cloud solutions and using these clouds to provide new services.

As transformation takes place across the industry, I believe the greatest opportunity for CSPs will be to monetize their data in order to influence events and consumer behavior in real-time. CSPs have a tremendous amount of data about their networks and customers and are now seeking to move beyond older analytics tools that are not able to process the volume of data efficiently or quickly enough. EMC has packaged a solution leveraging the latest analytics technology via the EMC Real-Time Intelligence (RTI) platform. EMC RTI leverages best-in-breed technologies from across the EMC Federation of companies and the open source community to provide a data analytics solution designed to operate at the multi-petabyte scale of the largest providers. It can enable use cases in network operations, security and fraud detection, network planning, customer experience and revenue generation. Today, RTI is in production at some of the largest operators in the world and EMC has a number of very exciting proofs-of-concepts underway with new startups looking to leverage the power of EMC’s data lake architecture.

I am very bullish on the state of the Communications Service Provider industry coming out of MWC. EMC’s commitment to creating repeatable solutions to accelerate cloud and next generation data analytics solutions at massive scale will only accelerate the industry’s transformation in 2016.

Now you know what I think, but what do you think? I encourage you to comment below.

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