Proof of concept

Real virtuality: A roadmap for the agile operator

The journey towards the ‘agile’ operator continues and as it goes on, the picture of what exactly an agile operator is becomes ever clearer. It is the ability to react quickly to market trends and compete with the very nimblest of digital service providers. This is achieved via a programmable operations-led network that supports all areas of the organization and provides the tools for superior customer service – and, at the same time, controls costs.

The key drivers are that overall capacity demand is growing at an exponential rate of 46 percent CAGR, while telco ARPU is steadily declining, by around $36 billion a year. Delivering better agility will support new revenue streams. The more agile the operator, the more likely it is to replace a greater percentage of lost revenues.

If this is achieved the CEO will be better equipped to succeed in the transformation of the business, better able to respond to threats in the new, low-margin communications world and better placed to dramatically improve overall customer experience. And because the idea supports all areas of the business, the journey will also help flatten out the silos that still constrict many telecoms businesses.

There is a group that not only believes this is possible, but has set out to prove it.

Catalyst shows the way

The Real Virtuality Catalyst, a proof-of-concept project now in its second phase, is building a multi-level policy-driven and user programmable future-mode of operations for hybrid SDN/NFV networks of the future.

It will provide the head of operations with flexibility at a level where he can use policies to effectively control all operations even when he is changing them. It will provide the CFO tools to balance the books while delivering OPEX savings that will support the CTO in his endeavors to modernize the network. And it will provide the tools to support the provision and measurement of business Service Level Agreements (SLAs). It will also be highly automated.

The champions for this Catalyst are BT and NTT. The participants are Ericsson, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Tech Mahindra, TierOne, TEOCO and the University of Adelaide.

The project will use – and contribute to – various TM Forum assets, including the Operations Centre of the Future; Orchestration Choreography & Policy Management; the Entity Provisioning API; Policy Management; SID Modelling and the Digital Platform Reference Architecture.

The Real Virtuality Catalyst – Phase 2 continues the work that has already been demonstrated. In Dallas at the end of last year, the presentations included two innovative concepts around programmable operations and policy chaining. In Singapore in December 2016, work had begun on building a proposition called Operations Defined Automation (ODA), which incorporated the two concepts.

At the TM Forum Live! event in Nice (May 15-18) the proposition will be demonstrated against a life-like business scenario, using a realistic and complex hybrid network topology. With this Catalyst, the roadmap for the agile operator gets clearer and the goal gets nearer.

Watch this video for information:


    About The Author

    Catalyst Evangelist

    Tony Poulos is TM Fourm's Catalyst Evangelist. He freelances for several industry publications and is video anchor and a columnist for Telecom Asia. Tony is a regular speaker and moderator at conferences worldwide and has worked as a contributing analyst for IDC.

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