Innovation reduces risks for telcos: part 2

The thought of innovation reducing risk may seem counterintuitive. Here’s why telcos should embrace innovation to address a changing environment.
Prayson Pate
Light bulbs

This is the second of a two-part blog. Please see part 1 for an overview.

What are the top risks for telcos?

EY just published an article “How can risk foresight lead to fresh insight?”. It enumerates the top ten risks for telecommunications in 2021 as being the following:

  1. Failure to ensure infrastructure reach and resilience
  2. Underestimating changing imperatives in privacy, security and trust
  3. Failure to redesign workforce structure and skill sets
  4. Failure to mitigate supply chain disruption
  5. Poor management of the sustainability agenda
  6. Inability to scale internal digitisation initiatives
  7. Ineffective engagement with external ecosystems
  8. Failure to maximise value of infrastructure assets
  9. Failure to take advantage of new business models
  10. Inability to adapt to changing regulatory landscape

In part 1 we looked at how innovations from companies like ADVA can help address some aspects of risks 1-5. Now let’s look at risks 6-10.

Risk 6: Inability to scale internal digitisation initiatives
Innovation: Work with suppliers whose software can integrate with yours

ADVA’s Ensemble Controller and Director family of software provides value-added control and monitoring of our products. And it has open APIs that facilitate integration with your other systems. For example, our Ensemble Orchestrator can connect to third-party systems for provisioning of virtual network functions, as described in MANO must be functional, economical, and open.

Risk 7: Ineffective engagement with external ecosystems
Innovation: Engage with suppliers who embrace open ecosystems

ADVA embraces open and multi-vendor ecosystems. We support disaggregation of optical transport, packet switching, and network functions virtualization. And unlike some of our competitors, it’s not just talk. See Beware of DINOs! to learn some of the pitfalls of fake disaggregation.

Another aspect of disaggregation is how you assemble the parts. For example, success in the highly innovative and very much fashionable O-RAN sector will rely on open ecosystems and supply chain diversification for both hardware and software. Telcos can embrace an open ecosystem and still be at risk of lockin with a single supplier or integrator who assembles the pieces. Operators and enterprises should work with suppliers like ADVA and our partners who know the O-RAN platform and who have the flexibility to select openly from the ecosystem all component parts. The same considerations also apply to uCPE and are described here: Who ya gonna call? Support models for uCPE.

Risk 8: Failure to maximise value of infrastructure assets
Innovation: Create valuable and sticky services, then upsell

Telcos are rightly concerned about being relegated to delivering dumb pipes. But they can use innovations to layer on services that drive more revenue and keep customers subscribing. Examples include secure connectivity, timing as a service, and edge cloud. See Expanding uCPE with secure hybrid networking for an example of using a low-cost endpoint to deliver secure connectivity and enable upsell. And see Picosecond precision in 5G innovation to learn how networks can assure the connectivity needed for 5G. And servers with GPUs for hardware acceleration can support advanced services such as onsite machine learning.

Risk 9: Failure to take advantage of new business models
Innovation: Leverage software-based services for trial and limited-time services

One of the reasons that the telcos invented network functions virtualization (NFV) was to facilitate innovation at the speed of software. Telcos can now use NFV to roll out innovative virtualized services without upgrading their physical networks. And they can upsell customers to new services without sending a technician on site. One of the enablers of the trial and limited-time services is innovative licensing. Success-based models ensure that telcos are only paying or what they need, and SaaS management simplifies initial integration and deployment.

See It’s never too late to move to uCPE! for a description of some of the advantages of moving to virtualized services.

Risk 10: Inability to adapt to changing regulatory landscape
Innovation: Embrace private wireless networks

Mobile services based on 4G technologies have been a big winner or telcos. And 5G will offer some new benefits for mobile applications. Now regulators are opening spectrum, and enterprises see the value of using 4G and 5G access for their private networks. But they need help doing so. Telcos are well positioned to build and support those private wireless networks. And solutions from ADVA provide the hosting environment needed for hosting virtual or containerized 5G Core, RIC, Central Units and Distributed Units in private 5G, along with the hardware infrastructure to ensure best performance and scale. See this press release for a description of how Colt leveraged an ecosystem of partners to deliver a pilot deployment of enterprise 5G.

Who can you trust?

In the items above I cited some examples of innovation. But there is another important factor: trust.

At ADVA, we have been working for a long time to establish ourselves as a trusted partner for telcos and enterprises. We know that network infrastructure has transitioned from a commodity to a strategic asset, and that government stimulus favors trusted suppliers. We have been delivering innovative solutions that are:

  • Secure: Innovative technology with ConnectGuard security features. These include quantum-safe encryption and industry-leading crypto agility
  • Certified: Supplier credentials including country-of-origin certificates and government-approved design, manufacturing and logistics processes
  • Assured: Proven interoperability, monitoring and actions guaranteeing trusted end-to-end performance

As a result, ADVA is a trusted partner for telcos and enterprises all over the world. Our products enable our customers to innovate and outrun risks like those listed above. Let ADVA be your partner for trusted network infrastructure and see how we can help you.

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