Big-bandwidth applications are the tools your customers rely on to get things done. They don’t have time to wait through the typical six months of lead time needed for you to roll out new services on your traditional network built with proprietary “big iron” hardware.
The good news is that most carriers have begun the process of testing Network Function Virtualization (NFV) as a way to make network and service provisioning faster, more flexible and ultimately more profitable.
With NFV, network functions are software based, so the underlying physical network changes dramatically. Server farms replace the need for clunky proprietary hardware. Network functions and services are managed efficiently in real time, and more capacity can easily be added in minutes to handle spikes in demand.
The Benefits of NFV are Clear
NFV simplifies the provisioning and management of networks, so carriers are able to more effectively compete against other traditional telecom companies and their long-term competitors – the cloud-based service providers.
With NFV, carrier networks are more:
- Agile — carriers can adopt a DevOps model of operation because all tasks are handled by software, making it easy to quickly move from development to operations.
- Scalable — server farms with no proprietary hardware restrictions are elastic by nature, enabling carriers to quickly introduce new services or tweak existing products as well as redeploy capacity as needed, based on demand.
- Automated — network functions and services are handled by the rules that the carrier creates, eliminating the need for error-prone manual management and expensive manpower specializing in these proprietary hardware platforms.
Meeting Customer Demands
At a recent Light Reading Big Telecom Event, several Tier 1 service providers in North America said that by moving away from hardware-based network models to NFV, time to market will improve by 40 percent. That’s a significant improvement over the 2x per year process most carriers follow to roll out new services.
Less reliance on proprietary hardware means more flexibility in the way that services are offered to customers. NFV enables carriers to offer customers a variety of options in different service categories and more ways to generate revenue.
More Options Means More Revenue
More revenue-generating services and options are the ultimate benefits of a more agile network. Nimble adaptation to customers’ needs and offering more specific service options to meet the requirements of enterprises and big-bandwidth applications motivate customers to remain loyal and likely to purchase more.
Carriers can move to the model that airlines use to fill more seats and maximize revenue with pay-per-use services such as checked bags, refreshments or extra leg room. Each customer pays a different price for the service depending on its utility and the optional features added.