Letter from the Editor: October 2013

By: Tim Young

“Evolution is not a force but a process; not a cause but a law.”
—John Morley, On Compromise (1874)

Networks are enormous, complex machines that span the globe, and they’re in a constant state of flux. To get a handle on how they evolve, you also have to look at the way that user behavior is changing. You have to consider how devices and content are undergoing their own respective metamorphoses. And you have to take a system-level approach to the vibrant, writhing circus that is the modern communications landscape.  

As one thing changes, another must change to compensate, triggering yet another shift and another complementary change. It’s chaos theory in action, with tremendous global feedback loops initiated by the humblest of catalysts, and it’s a fascinating puzzle to behold, particularly because it has no finality, no destination or endpoint—just proximate goals and patterns of stimulus and response. 

How are networks evolving at the moment, and what new developments are we seeing? In this issue of Pipeline we address a few of the ways that global communications networks are changing in response to the latest external demands. We discuss the future of wireless networks, including 5G and beyond, and explore how networks can be optimized to handle new and shifting traffic patterns while remaining agile in anticipation of future developments. We look at the possibilities for networks as profit centers for CSPs that are continually searching for new ways to make themselves invaluable in the context of a shifting business landscape. And we bring you the latest on software-defined networking (SDN), metro Ethernet, smart-grid and satellite technology, small cells, and more. 

So, take a look, and if you have any questions, or suggestions on how we can adjust our coverage to better address what you’re seeing in the communications and entertainment technology (COMET) market, just drop me a line at We’re constantly looking for ways that we can evolve as well.


Tim Young


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