Challenges and prospects for communication service providers

Challenges and prospects for communication service providers

Intel sponsored a recent IDC survey, which shows that full-stack security and visibility (both at 73%) are the top challenges enterprises face in the network transition. Added to these aspects are the demands for increasingly lower latencies, lower costs and greater energy efficiency.

Alex Quach, vice president and general manager of Intel's Wireline and Core Network division, commented on the results of this survey , in view of the upcoming Mobile World Congress.

Alex Quach, Vice President and General Manager of Intel's Wireline and Core Network Division

Intel has been working for a decade to move networks from fixed function hardware to programmable and software-defined platforms. And that effort has paid off, as Dell'Oro forecasts that 90% of core networks will be virtualized by the end of this year.

Communications Service Providers (CoSPs) are facing a Another major transition: the move to cloud-native infrastructure.

This design allows for significant agility: CoSPs can reconfigure new network services to meet changing market demands.

Completing this transition is a crucial step in addressing the growing complexity in network service delivery, driven not only by consumer data and demand for services, but increasingly by enterprises needing intelligence at the edge as well.

Transition is well underway

According to Quach, most CoSPs are well along the cloud-native journey. But their progress is being held back by a variety of challenges, including proprietary solutions that don't scale, a lack of in-house expertise, and an inability to find the right technology partners with interoperable solutions.

That's why Intel sponsored IDC's research, which involved more than 300 CoSPs to evaluate the progress, priorities, plans and challenges related to the transition to the cloud.

There are many reasons why companies are making the transition: digitization, modern IT infrastructure, flexibility, agility, hybrid/multi-cloud IT processes, automation, innovation, monetization of new services, application portability and cost reduction.
As we've already mentioned, a significant percentage of respondents noted security and visibility challenges, while many are looking to ecosystem relationships to support this multi-year transition.

73% indicated the combination of security, policy and compliance in all environments as the main challenges. Visibility across the entire infrastructure is the other major obstacle CoSPs face, at exactly the same rate.

These challenges are reflected in the ability to detect and correlate failures across core, RAN, and edge, leading to longer times for problem solving. Nearly half of respondents (48%) want more collaboration and integration, more turnkey solutions, and more supply chain support and training.

Reducing emissions without sacrificing performance

The global energy crisis is presenting new challenges for CoSPs, who are wondering how to reduce energy consumption across their infrastructure. The electricity bill represents a significant portion of total network operating expenses, and energy consumption contributes to carbon emissions.

The RAN consumes the most network power, followed by the wireless core and data centers . There are great opportunities to reduce power consumption across the network, but CoSPs also need to maintain their KPIs such as throughput, latency, and packet loss.

CoSPs expect energy-efficient technologies to bring operational cost savings, but at the same time, can not compromise the quality of service. Reducing energy consumption has become a priority for CoSPs to maintain the sustainability of their operations.