The final piece and arguably most difficult of network innovation to tackle is the architecture behind it. Operators need to build dynamic service enablement capabilities and software-defined networking (SDN) features into their networks to speed the time to market of new services and reduce risks. For mobile operators, SDN is all about speeding time to revenue, by enabling operators to deploy services much more quickly than ever before. The old mindset that a new service can take 18 months to deliver is no longer viable. With the promise of SDN, you can spin up a new service as a virtual machine, delivering services in days or even someday minutes rather than months. SDN also simplifies network design for mobile service providers by reducing equipment costs, by reducing power consumption and by consolidating equipment and exploiting the economies of scale of the IT industry.
The rewards for those that successfully meet this challenge are huge and in Asia Pacific, are among the biggest opportunities in the telecommunications industry today. Demand from consumers and enterprises for cloud services means there is an established and rapidly growing market that can be addressed by operators that are ready to offer scalable, compelling and flexible services.
As with traditional telecommunication services, however, first-mover advantage is important and may be even more so in the brave new world of mobile cloud services.
Wendy Koh is Vice President, Service Provider, Asia Pacific, Greater China and Japan; Juniper Networks.
 Gartner "Forecast: Public Cloud Services, Worldwide, 2011-2017, 1Q13 Update"
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