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Rich Tehrani
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| Communications and Technology Blog - Latest news in IP communications, telecom, VoIP, call center & CRM space

Software Telco

Tiscali to be one of the First Software Telcos

March 27, 2014

The traditional telco is dead – the case for moving to COTS technology is just too compelling. This is a theme I have been espousing for over a year. My readers further know companies like Metaswitch Networks have also been making the case as to why carriers need to start evaluating their software options immediately.

You also know about the cost savings associated with moving to standard servers – power and maintenance savings are a few additional benefits.

Italtel Helps CSPs Benefit From WebRTC and NFV

February 27, 2014

I had a dynamic conversation with Italtel's Frederico Descalzo at MWC 2014 I learned about how the company is providing next-gen solutions for carriers, enabling them to maximize the potential of WebRTC and the transition to the software telco through NFV and SDN.

The company built its own cloud-ready SBC which was more scaleable and better at handling media conversion and transcoding on a session-by-session basis than those provided by typical vendors in the market he told me. In their implementation, virtualized functions for media and signal handling allow the product to scale at the customer prem or in the cloud. He said carriers are concerned about NFV and whether they can deal with IP+IT+telco merged together.

How AT&T Will Become a Software Telco

February 26, 2014

AT&T recently announced their User-Defined Network Cloud designed to allow customers to have more control while giving them the ability to add new network services in almost real-time in an on-demand fashion. You have heard me drone on about how the software telco is going to be the future of the telecom market and AT&T effectively has confirmed this idea throug this announcement regarding their Domain 2.0 supplier program.

The idea here is to bring more innovation into the carrier equipment space by allowing CSPs to run software on top of virtualized instances on OTS servers, allowing them to have the same flexibility inherent in data centers and typical cloud-based solutions.

The idea here is allowing services like WhatsApp and others to be rolled out quickly on the carrier network in order to compete more effectively with OTT players.

HP Outlines its NFV Initiatives at MWC 2014

February 25, 2014

Werner Schaefer the VP of Network Functions Virtualization at Hewlett-Packard spent some time with me at Mobile World Congress to discuss the numerous carriers the company is working with to push NFV forward. Here at the show, HP discussed how they will accelerate their move to NFV through its OpenNFV initiative which will speed up deployments of the technology. Schaefer explained there is a huge architechture play at work here - beyond OPEX and CAPEX savings.

Cisco says NFV to be a Revolution

November 5, 2013

Shocking words from an equipment provider?

Jared Headley who heads up Cisco’s service provider mobility marketing said to me recently, “We still believe the best way to simplify service delivery is to virtualize it, put it on COTS and really drive virtualized service chaining instead of physical plug-in router blade chaining for delivering services across the mobile network.” He continued to say this will drive costs down 40-45% in the first year while changing service delivery speed from months to weeks. He called this a revolution over the next couple of years.

He went on to say although this is generally considered “boring” stuff because it is back-end related but he emphasized this is what makes operators more agile.

Congratulations to ETSI on its NFV Specifications

October 16, 2013

ETSI recently released NFV specifications which show how carriers of the future will be able to work together more closely to serve the needs of customers by sharing resources in a secure manner while allowing users to have more responsive broadband service. In addition, these documents show how communications service providers will more cost-effectively compete with new over-the-top (OTT) entrants who are cannibalizing their business in-part thanks to the same low-cost software-based infrastructure NFV hopes to recreate.

Once locked into hardware which was expensive, not only to purchase but to power, thanks to NFV, a carrier can deploy a new service on a very limited scale and add servers as needed to grow or simply scale in the cloud.

The ultimate goal of NFV or network functions virtualization is in-fact to allow carriers to take advantage of the technology which has allowed the cloud revolution to happen - namely virtualization, open APIs and powerful, low-cost servers.

NFV Roadmaps Are Affecting Carrier Purchases Now

October 12, 2013

The view from Asia

I had the chance to catch up with a top exec at a major Asian telecom equipment manufacturer and he told me customers are asking for NFV and they are busy working with a number of carriers in Europe to provide suitable solutions. This exec thinks that NFV will have the greatest impact in the gateway space. He went on to say he doesn’t believe the technology will have as much impact beyond the gateway because interoperability may become a problem – meaning whose throat is there to choke if things don’t work properly?

Compass EOS and The Optical Approach to Core Routing

September 25, 2013

As core routers have to handle ever-faster data rates the high-speed connections suffer from a variety of problems as a result of challeenges which have to be overcome in inter-chip communications. Signal integrity becomes a problem over copper lines connecting ASICs as circut AC characteristics begin to dominate the impedance, inductance and conductance of the line and in-turn distort the signal. One way to mitigate these challenges is to utilize decision feedback equalization which consumes large amounts of power. Moreover, crosstalk has to be dealt with as electrical circuit speeds have reached the limits where traditional technology can overcome these effects.

Qwilt Speeds Video Downloads Worldwide

September 24, 2013

There are few constants in the world of technology - one of them has to be that there will never be enough bandwidth... Your connection can never keep up with the growing need of enterprises and consumers. Binge viewing especially has become a plague for carriers who are seeing their costs increase exponentially.

Enter Qwilt, the company that functions as a a virtual CDN-enabler for the last-mile through the use of appliances which run on COTS hardware and sit in the carrier network assisiting in caching in the important area between the core to aggregation to the edge to home.

GENBAND Buys Fring to Make Carriers Sexy

September 12, 2013

Carriers are scrambling right now as they see OTT services such as Skype and WhatsApp eating into their revenues. In a conversation with David Walsh (pictured), GENBAND’s new CEO, we discussed how OTT players have taken 30% of voice traffic in seven years and how service provider voice growth is now around 3% per year.



In response to this onslaught of new competition, carriers have come together to develop standards which will allow their telecom equipment to run on off-the-shelf servers so they can more effectively compete with their app-based competitors. This initiative: network functions virtualization or NFV will help turn hardware-based telcos into software telcos allowing them to be more flexible in rolling out new offerings while saving money in the process.

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