Today was the first day of the main show for LTE World Summit. As I approached the venue in Amsterdam, I noticed that they rolled out the red carpet in anticipation of my arrival. This ended up being entirely appropriate since all of the interesting talk that buzzed around the show related to having to deal with the premiere at a red carpet event.
Virtualization is a Blockbuster
Many red carpet events signal the viewing of a virtual reality seen through the eyes of the movie studios and the director. As expected, our vision of a virtual world is all about the virtualization of the network environment to enable NFV and SDN technologies. All the vendors are claiming to have software-based versions of their products and solutions to meet the demand from the service providers. Service providers are requiring many of their solutions to be virtual and support NFV and SDN, moving forward. The service providers are looking to see how these solutions will work in these virtualized architectures and how they will evolve their existing static networks to become flexible and dynamic virtualized environments.
There is a lot of talk about the director of this virtualized world, the management and orchestration system, but it remains to be seen as to who the director will be and what their overall vision will look like.
Protecting the stars from the paparazzi
Security is a necessity in the all-IP environment of the LTE architecture. Service providers are seeing the need for security at multiple layers in the network. They need to protect the data path of the SGi network from threats that are coming from the Internet as well as the vulnerable subscriber devices. Critical services in the network that are exposed to the public also need to be protected. DNS is a service that is consistently attacked and needs to maintain its star status as a key component that enables subscribers to access the Internet as well as internal components to reach each other.
As VoLTE continues to be enabled, it is important to note that SIP applications will be able to directly generate control plane messages that traverse the signaling infrastructure and can have a potentially catastrophic impact to the SIP components. It does not take much for someone to code a poorly written SIP application or be malicious in an active attempt to take down the infrastructure.
Imagine you are in a different land
Hollywood makes movies to transport you to a different place. As the globalization of our world continues, it becomes easier to transport oneself to another land and become a roaming subscriber. It is essential that one’s ability to communicate and access information on the Internet stays intact as one travels the globe. LTE roaming enables this capability and the service providers are looking to ensure that they can deliver global coverage through roaming agreements with LTE partners.
They are also making sure that there is compatibility with non-LTE 2G/3G networks through the implementation of interworking function (IWF) to support access where modern LTE access is not available.
A-list stars have it all
To be an A-list star that attracts all the attention, the service providers and vendors need to deliver on all of these capabilities. Virtualization technologies, multi-layered security, and access globalization are all essential to become successful in this environment. The first step is to become aware that there is a drive for these solutions and then one needs to create a path to incorporate them into one’s plan to become a key player in this industry.