IT-centric 5G networks require a new approach to architecture, organization
With 5G, traditional mobile network operators need to draw from the hyperscale playbook to facilitate dynamic network management and rapid service development and delivery. This will require a new approach to network architecture with an emphasis on centralized and distributed cloud capabilities.
This imperative isn’t just in service of providing new experiences to customers more quickly; it’s also necessary given the sheer complexity of managing differentiated subscriber plans, bespoke enterprise connectivity needs and billions of new internet of things-type devices hitting the network–all overarching goals of 5G.
And another aspect of this generational shift in cellular is within the operator itself and goes beyond technology. There has to be a new way of thinking supported by internal realignment. A more dynamic, flexible network requires a more dynamic, flexible organization with skill sets tailored to the IT-centric networks that are coming online in key geographies around the world.
“There needs to be an IT DNA. We call it a cloud DNA,” VMware Vice President of Solutions for Telco NFV Gabriele Di Piazza told RCR Wireless News in a recent interview. Click here to read the first part in this series, titled “The state of telco cloud adoptiton: The view from VMware (Part 1).”
He continued: “We are finding a major dynamic right now where we start to see the organizational dynamic happening in a telco, in a carrier right now, bringing together the IT aspect, the network aspect, the B2B aspect, the business services aspect, in a way that we’ve never seen before. It’s like the cloud technology is influencing the operational transformation in carriers.”
Di Piazza explained that the advent of 5G, which comes with investments in both centralized and distributed (edge) virtualized cloud infrastructure, requires an embrace of software-defined everything and a cloud-native, cloud-first strategy.
He said telcos need to think about how to consistently manage IT and data center functionality across private and public centralized and edge clouds. “On top of moving from the core network to the edge network with 5G, there’s an aspect of bringing together all the different cloud environments. IT becomes pervasive, software becomes pervasive, cloud becomes pervasive. Now we’re talking about digital transformation in terms of processes, skills, abilities, all the way from product ideation and engineering to sales and marketing and so forth.”
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