By Mae Kowalke
If they have not already made the transition, telecommunications service providers are rapidly coming to the conclusion that they must evolve to all-IP networks to stay competitive and serve the needs of their customers.
It is not just a matter of adopting new technology, however. This evolution requires, for lack of a better term, a paradigm shift on how networks are leveraged. The goal should be to achieve what Alcatel-Lucent calls a “High Leverage Network,” or HLN.
An HLN “solves the dichotomy facing all service providers: reducing cost per bit for transporting rapidly growing traffic while leveraging the intelligence embedded in the network to optimize the creation and delivery of new services and to generate new revenues that improve return on investment,” Alcatel-Lucent explains.
Developing a High Leverage Network requires a two-pronged approach: develop new business models and introduce or improve personalized service offerings. These go hand-in-hand and must be pursued simultaneously.
More specifically, creating an HLN means evolving the network, establishing universal access, adding application enablement, and transforming operations.
“The telecommunications market is changing”, Alcatel-Lucent notes in a the whitepaper: Seizing the opportunity: The business benefits of a High Leverage Network. “As end user expectations evolve, bandwidth demands increase and Web 2.0 innovations change the way the world communicates, service providers are being forced to adapt their business to address a number of new challenges — growing revenues, introducing new services quickly, managing growth in capacity, reducing operational costs, supporting new business models and improving eco-sustainability.”
Obviously, there are many factors at play—including competitive pressures and the need to move away from unstable business models. The key to keeping everything in balance is to remember that success means enhancing return on investment by working smarter, not just harder: delivering faster service innovations using the intelligence already embedded in the network and existing knowledge about what customers need and want.
In other words, better use of what already exists is the first step toward an HLN.
Demand for bandwidth (wired and wireless) plays a huge role in the move toward High Leverage Network. In this context, an HLN does six things:
- Enables continuously scalable bandwidth at the lowest cost per bit
- Allows the provider to scale and manage network capacity to meet increasing bandwidth demands
- Makes it possible to collapse multiple legacy protocols and service-driven overlay networks into a converged, all-IP network
- Offers universal access, converged aggregation and backhaul, and integrated IP and transport
- Boosts the performance and capacity of networks to meet bandwidth demands
- Improves operational efficiency and reduces total cost of ownership
There are many more factors involved in addressing the need for more bandwidth and more efficient use of existing bandwidth. These include the role of LTE, methods of increasing capacity and saving money, boosting backhaul, optimizing content delivery, and developing new business models. For a complete discussion of these and related topics, read Alcatel-Lucent’s Leverage My Network article.