Keeping subscribers on your network depends on whether it can deliver the sensational experiences they are looking for with applications like cloud gaming, Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). These applications are not only bandwidth intensive, they are latency sensitive as well. The availability of a wide variety of increasingly sophisticated devices and ubiquitous cloud usage makes delivering these great experiences even more challenging.
For you, the service provider, the large-scale adoption of these new applications and related technologies presents enormous new service opportunities, but also poses significant challenges. On the opportunity side, you can now offer AR and VR services that enrich your subscribers lives with deeply immersive experiences and charge a premium for delivering the experiences.
A key challenge is that you must seamlessly scale your network to deliver these services, however the current network architecture is not well suited to meet the application requirements. Today’s networks are complex because of the proliferation of numerous standalone network elements for access, aggregation, subscriber management, lawful intercept and routing functions. Each standalone network element adds to latency, points of failures, time to market and operational cost. Also, you may have multiple networks for residential, business and mobile networks, further adding to the complexity.
Another challenge is that many new applications are increasingly unicast and local in nature because users are consuming personalized content. This means you are now dealing with unicast traffic from tens of thousands of users which is putting tremendous strain on your network. You can add more network elements or upgrade existing ones to try to solve the bandwidth problem, but you still haven’t solved the latency issue or reduced the cost to run your network.
For you to stay ahead of these new applications and profit from them, it is clear that it’s time to re-think the network architectures that are at the center of your business. It’s time to simplify the network.
In the next blog we will explore the architecture and look at areas where we may be able to easily simplify. In the meantime, visit our Next Generation Network Perspectives page for a look at new approaches to network architecture.