It’s exciting for me in my role to help demonstrate how Intel technology is playing a key role in transforming mobile communications networks around the globe. Indeed, this is happening every step of the way when a call is made, a video is uploaded or downloaded, or when you use your device of choice to connect with family, friends or business colleagues.
Communications trade shows are great learning experiences for me personally and provide one of our best opportunities to engage with the industry. In addition to the physical network, our industry is made up of a human and business network—a rich ecosystem that is transforming the industry every day. Intel is investing in enabling a broad spectrum of industry leaders to develop new capabilities that bring value to their existing customers, and open up new usage models and new market opportunities. Recently, Intel unveiled our Network Builders ecosystem program, designed to accelerate the move to Software Defined Infrastructure that takes advantage of software defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) principles. The program was launched with more than 25 companies, including TEMs, OEMs, ISVs and Solution Integrators that provide innovations, solutions and capabilities necessary to stay competitive in a changing marketplace. Get the Intel® Network Builders Reference Architecture Automated Data Center Workload and Bandwidth Burst.
Until recently, industry trade shows were all about the latest phones and tablets, and surprisingly, the critical assets of network operators–the network infrastructure–were confined to the back room. But now the infrastructure is out on the exhibition floor where it belongs, with vendors showing their latest innovations and breakthroughs as we move from closed, proprietary, fixed-function systems to open, flexible, standards-based platforms that are more efficient and responsive. Decoupling hardware and software sets the stage for a virtualized network, and momentum for this approach is growing rapidly.
At Mobile World Congress this past year, there were many exciting new demonstrations of network infrastructure solutions using SDN and NFV principles, including virtual Evolved Packet Core with programmable capabilities to power up or down equipment, on an as-needed basis and intelligent Base Stations that can act as hubs for new services including highly targeted location based offers from participating retailers.
A few months ago at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, Intel demonstrated a collaboration with Verizon and HP to show how to use Software Defined Networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) principles to automatically handle network traffic with a combination of private and public cloud resources. This allows Enterprises to offload bursts of high traffic to public cloud assets in a matter of minutes vs. weeks, maintaining high service levels and improving their customer experience. It also gives the communications service providers an opportunity to create new revenue services on their networks. This is just one example of the exciting new capabilities that are being created by fundamentally changing the way networks are built and operated.
Intel is also active with the ETSI Network Function Virtualization Industry Specification Group (NFV ISG) – an initiative that was started by a group of leading global service providers intending to enable the standardization of network infrastructure while accelerating the virtualization of network functions and services. Membership now has over 25 service providers, including: AT&T, BT, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, NTT, SKT, and Telefónica, and over 150 companies involved in the design and development of network infrastructure solutions.
Stay tuned for more network breakthroughs coming to the forefront stemming from ecosystem collaboration and the use of standard, open, high-volume, virtualized platforms.