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Powering The Internet of Things

Boonchareon Chong, Global Solutions Architect, F5 Networks | Aug. 28, 2015
Are mobile service providers ready?

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

The onset of the Internet of Things (IoT) has changed the business landscape in Asia where hyper-connectivity is driving business growth. It is forecasted that there will be 50 billion connected devices in the world within five years. It is crystal clear that the vision of connected sensors, transportations, houses and wearable devices forms a massive business to be provided for in the market.

What does IoT mean for service providers? Of course in servicing the new era of business, they should be gearing up to enhance their ecosystem and to scale up their networks. The augmentation of technology in this scene is predicted to influence 80 percent of consumer purchasing decisions in 2020. Staying competitive with the evolution could be daunting, unless businesses also evolve and equip their infrastructure to be IoT ready.

Starting with consolidation, service providers need to turn to future architectures like NFV (network-function virtualisation) or SDN (software-defined networking) which offer paths that help to minimise operating and capital expenses and offering opportunities to monetise their networks at the same time. Automating the four pillars of NFV is the key to successfully leveraging the architecture and turn in business opportunities. What are the four pillars of NFV? They are scalability, security, virtualisation and programmability.

The transformation of service providers' current S/Gi networks from complex conga lines of critical network services to a simplified yet standardised architecture that not only reduces operating and capital expenses, but paves the way for SDN/NFV adoption, will be critical.

Gi is the interface between the Internet and the Evolved Packet Core (EPC). In 4G networks it is called the SGi interface. Here, the S/Gi denotation includes 3G and 4G networks.

To effectively scale and monetise LTE networks require three key aspects: S/Gi network consolidation, intelligent traffic steering and service chaining with application and subscriber awareness.

IoT products and service suppliers are expected to hit beyond 300 billion in revenue by 2020. Are mobile service providers ready?

New wave of devices, new challenges
The new wave of devices will demand availability, flexibility and speed, with hyper connectivity as the driving force. The challenges in seizing these opportunities are also complex. It varies from network signalling spikes, flooding request of DNS queries to DDoS and security scams. Service providers are fast turning to NFV and this has been marked by prominent telcos utilising SDN deployment where experts forecast NFV to be the next disruptive technology for service providers to be acquired. In 2018, the SDN and NFV market is predicted to obtain 18 billion customers globally.


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