Moving with the CSPs

The convergence of 5G, edge computing and cloud-native infrastructure positions Communications Service Providers (CSPs) to do things no one else in the marketplace can even approach. Custom wireless services tailored to specific applications, mass-scale IoT installations, ultra-reliable low-latency services and more become possible. To capitalize on this moment, however, operators need to open up their networks.

With open and heterogeneous end-to-end infrastructures, operators can turn their networks into platforms for multivendor innovation. Imagine a future where CSP networks function like the App Store in which diverse vendors and third-party developers tap into unique 5G and edge capabilities to unleash game-changing new applications.

Before we can get there, though, CSPs need to reimagine their relationships with their vendors. As an industry, we need to move from traditional transactional models to that of trusted partners. The good news is that we're a lot further along in this journey than you might think. However, there are still some important transformations that need to happen to take us the rest of the way.

In a multivendor communications ecosystem, the lines between infrastructure, service and application are blurring. The performance of a service depends on the infrastructure. The value of the infrastructure gets inextricably tied to the applications running on it.

Put simply, you can't provide a high-performing service on an infrastructure that's cobbled together and isn't working efficiently. CSPs and their ecosystem partners need to be able to use best-of-breed infrastructure components with the ability to control performance at all levels. Effectively, they need to evolve their networks to be open, "plug-and-play" horizontal platforms that offer the elasticity that is found in a cloud-based network and the unmatched scalability of virtual machines.

This evolution is no small task. The high costs and complexity of replacing telco hardware, the long investment cycles, and CSPs' traditionally hardware-centric (rather than software-centric) approach to innovation all present barriers. Fortunately, operators are already taking steps to make their core infrastructures more agile and cloud-like. By doing things like changing to cloud-first core architectures, bringing modern DevOps practices to network teams and automating network operations, CSPs have already laid the groundwork.

If they're going to empower ecosystem partners to innovate, CSPs need to expose programming interfaces. For the first time, they need to give external stakeholders the ability to build and manage applications with a view of their existing infrastructure. Already, we see significant enthusiasm and activity around treating the communications infrastructure as an agnostic, dynamic architecture for creating and delivering services — just like how application developers treat the cloud.

We're now at a point where innovators and incumbents view telco networks as programmable architectures on which they can land new solutions. At the same time, more CSPs are starting to use API programmability and microservices to create innovative new services and launch them more quickly. Most CSPs now recognize the need to embrace a more software-centric view of their business and build up in-house software expertise.

Telco cloud platform providers are enabling open API-based architectures that can insert new vendors into historically closed, tightly coupled, operator environments. Operators are already well on their way toward enabling more versatile, dynamic network platforms.

The journey is starting with moving toward networks that are cloud-first and vendor-agnostic. CSPs are making major strides toward the open innovation marketplaces of the future. The flexibility inherent to cloud-first networks accelerates CSPs further down the transformation journey where vendors can provide deeper insight into the challenges that enterprise customers face and act as partners in developing new capabilities.

As CSPs move forward with this evolution, armed with the intelligence from a multi-partner approach, they'll uncover new ways to differentiate their business.

Glow’s role

Glow's Network Migration and Support Services (NMSS) provide a comprehensive set of services for planning, design, and execution of migrating legacy time-division multiplexing (TDM) infrastructure to modern circuit emulation (CEM) packet transport technology. We offer customized solutions to CSPs, accelerating telecom network modernization and cost reduction by rapid equipment decommissioning and replacement.

NMSS is also available as a white label service to OEMs for delivery to end customers. By partnering with Glow Networks, OEMs accelerate their time-to-market with new products and increase operating margins by leveraging a comprehensive on-shore/offshore delivery model. NMSS delivers to CSPs and equipment manufacturers a turnkey migration solution with the completeness of vision, scale, and knowledge of multi-vendor products, testing, TAC, telecom network modernization, automation, and analytics.

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