COMET News - June 2014

By: Jesse Cryderman

Show me the money

When it comes to investing in the future, where are service providers laying their cards? Recent news stories may help decrypt the tea leaves. Verizon just invested $5 million in Newlans to fund innovation for programmable duplexers that can reduce the cost of handset RF modules. In Australia, Telstra became the largest investor in the latest round of funding for MATRIXX Software, a company whose real-time tools are designed to help CSPs become Digital Service Providers (DSPs). In the UK, BT has committed roughly a billion dollars to wind energy, following five years of green energy investment that has saved the company more than $200 million. For Telenor, the future lies in connecting the unconnected, specifically those in Asia. “We are fully focused on driving mobile internet adoption across our six Asian markets,’’ said Henrik Clausen, incoming EVP and Head of Group Strategy and Digital, Telenor.

Ericsson unveils big data analytics suite

Big data has a big buzz, but how can actionable insights be gleaned from mountains of digital detritus? Finding the proverbial needle in a haystack requires an analytical platform that can separate the wheat from the chaff in real-time. Ericsson unveiled its solution on June 2: Expert Analytics, a real-time big data analytics platform for communications service providers (CSPs).

Expert Analytics supports multi-vendor environments and handles high-volume, low-latency data collection and stream processing. As expected, Ericsson is promoting its deep network expertise as a key selling point for the new platform. By leveraging network visibility and insight, Expert Analytics is able to go beyond "what" and "why," and answer the "how" question for CSPs. Ericsson calls this closed loop action, which means that "big data can actually drive improvement in daily operations, thus bringing analytics out of the lab into real business processes".

Elisabetta Romano, Vice President and Head of OSS and Service Enablement, Business Unit Support Solutions, Ericsson, commented on the relationship between Expert Analytics and the evolving telecommunications landscape. "Operators that deploy Ericsson Expert Analytics gain the power and flexibility they need to address current and future agility challenges. Now, operators can delight customers and optimize operational efficiencies while raising big data and analytics to a new level that generates business value and customer intimacy."

The announcement came just days after Amdocs launched its big data analytics platform, heating up the competition between the two companies. Ericsson recently won a deal with T-Mobile to replace its BSS, and T-Mobile has been an Amdocs shop in the past. Ericsson is a world leader in LTE network equipment, and has been rapidly expanding its software portfolio. Ericsson and Amdocs were both finalists in Pipeline's 2014 COMET Awards program, where Ericsson won the Innovations in Support Systems category and Amdocs was the runner-up.  Ericsson also notably won an unprecedented three total categories this year, including Most Innovative Technology Provider and Innovations in Cloud & Virtualization.

NFV continues to heat up

The advent of virtualized networking is one of the hottest stories in telecom and, for once, communications service providers (CSPs) are leading the charge. In May, Telefonica and NTT DOCOMO publicized their respective strategies to accelerate the deployment of network functions virtualization (NFV) in their networks. In Japan, NTT DOCOMO has completed testing in its virtualized evolved packet core (EPC) network that validates the feasibility of NFV solution alongside vendors Ciscso, Alcatel-Lucent, and NEC. Taking a slightly different path, Telefonica has ponied up to Intel and Red Hat to co-create open-source NFV solutions. 

On the vendor side, Alcatel-Lucent also announced an NFV deployment in Saudi Arabia with Mobily, and Cisco moved to acquire Tail-f systems. Tail-f Systems has developed service orchestration solutions that are used by CSPs such as Deutshe Telekom to bridge physical and virtual environment and recently received recognition from Pipeline as a winner of the 2014 COMET Awards Innovations in Technical Developments category.

"The acquisition of Tail-f's network services configuration and orchestration technology will extend Cisco's innovation in network functions virtualization, helping service providers reduce operating costs and the time it takes to deploy new services," said Hilton Romanski, Senior Vice President at Cisco.

Live from Nice, France

This month Pipeline traveled to the south of France to present the trophies for the 2014 COMET Innovation Awards program and attend the recently-rebranded TM Forum event the following week. The COMET Awards ceremony was the culmination of a lengthy and highly-objective evaluation process which includes Pipeline editorial staff, key industry analysts, and executives from some of the top CSPs in the world. Competition was more intense than ever this year; with some submission being separated by a fraction of a point. Full coverage of the Innovation Awards program can be found here.


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