Monetizing 5G and Transforming Edge Networking
By Fady Masoud
Director, Solutions Marketing
Highlights from India Mobile Congress
I just came back from India Mobile Congress (IMC) 2019 in New Delhi, the premier event in the region, attracting 100,000 attendees and close to 500 exhibitors.
India´s economy is booming, with 1.16 billion phone users (over 90% of the population!), 630 million internet users, and aggressive government plans to provide broadband for all by 2022. We could feel this vibe on the show floor and in numerous sessions over the three days of the event.
Given India´s competitive environment, which has dramatically driven down price of connectivity, the most prominent topic at the show was how network operators can reduce capital and operating costs in order to provide cost-effective services and succeed.
5G, of course, is front and center. Many sessions and presentations focused on applications and business models to help monetize 5G networks. Topics included the need for connectivity ecosystems, spectrum sharing, data privacy, and security.
The second major theme is about transforming edge networking by pushing compute functions and application hosting capabilities closer to the end user. Many see this as a key to enabling cost-effective 5G deployments. Open software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) technologies were also seen as capabilities that are critical to achieve the required flexibility and agility.
Our Senior Vice President of Marketing, Rob Shore, took the stage in the session “SDN, NFV and Cloud: Transforming Edge Networking” to talk about the evolution to disaggregated solutions in both IP and optical networks, which will provide both a reduction in cost and accelerated solution innovation. Rob also emphasized the importance of multi-layer, application-aware service automation to achieve the necessary efficiencies and dynamic connectivity associated with 5G and cloud-based services.
Infinera´s Stefan Spaelter, Vice President of Solutions Product Line Management, also took the stage, in the session “Global Strides in 5G Deployment: Roadblocks and Best Practices,” to talk about 5G transport innovation and its different moving parts, from Layer 0 all the way to Layer 3. He highlighted some of Infinera´s innovations, like Auto-Lambda, open and disaggregated routing, SDN control, and multi-vendor/multi-domain orchestration.
Machine learning and its potential role in and impact on the various stages and building blocks of wireless networking was also covered, yet again confirming the importance of software and automation to the wireless business.
The Infinera booth was particularly active, with network operators showing interest in some of our key innovations, including Instant Bandwidth, Auto-Lambda, and disaggregated routing – solutions designed to provide both capital and operational efficiencies.
Overall, the activity in the India telecommunications market continues to move at a rapid pace, and India Mobile Congress is a great place to meet up with network operators and catch up on the latest trends.