In 2017, telecom regulators will focus on network quality as operators shift to explaining the actual QoE delivered to subscribers. Zero rating services will take hold en masse yet will present a double-edged sword, network virtualization will take a big step forward, and IoT insecurity will become an even larger headache for network operators around the world.
#1: Telecom regulators will focus on network quality
Both the FCC in the US and BEREC in Europe have issued guidance that asks telecom operators to detail the actual QoE delivered to subscribers on their networks – including throughput, latency, and packet loss for all service plans. Consumers are becoming more sophisticated in how they use broadband and more sensitive to network disruption as a result, especially if it leads to slow social networking, stuttering video streaming, or laggy gaming. In 2017, as more and more consumers rely exclusively on their broadband connections for video and voice services, regulators will go a step further and be pulled into mandating quality measurements for operators.
#2: IoT security issues will continue to steal headlines
In 2017, the well-publicized issues with security on IoT devices will cause more problems on broadband networks. The Dyn attack that was primarily powered by hacked cameras is a sign of things to come. These attacks will continue to grow in size and the sheer number of IoT devices being used will amplify the attack power to Tb/ps of capacity. It’s going to become essential for operators to mitigate with fine-grained filtering and rate limiting of attack traffic in order to differentiate their service offerings and keep subscribers happy.
#3: Zero rate will proliferate
T-Mobile has delivered a blueprint for mobile differentiation that’s resulted in impressive subscriber growth in the US. In 2017, other disruptive mobile operators are likely to follow suit in an attempt to emulate this recipe for success – as long as local regulators don’t forbid it. However, to make this a reality, operators also need to understand what applications would deliver the greatest perceived value to their subscribers and how their network would cope with increased volume for zero rated application and content.
#4: Virtualization will get some big deployment wins
Operators worldwide are working to virtualize their infrastructure. There are already some live virtual deployments, but they are not at the scale many operators hoped for. In 2017, we will see high profile deployments that begin to reap the benefits of virtualization as vendor solutions become more mature, deliver scalability, and get ‘good enough’ orchestration to roll out services.
#5: Big data analytics will bolster strategic decision-making
As growth and revenue has flattened out, telecoms operators around the world are digging deeper to improve their bottom line and meet business goals. They’re beginning to learn how to leverage the vast sets of information they now have. This will impact every area of telecom business, including the network, where intelligence about subscriber behavior and network performance will be more heavily relied upon for network and operational goals and investment decisions.
About The Author:
Cam Cullen is the Vice President of Global Marketing at Procera Networks. Cam Cullen is responsible for Procera's overall global marketing and product management, and is an active evangelist for Procera's solution and general market trends as well as an active blogger for Procera. He joined Procera as VP of Product Management to execute on product strategy and to expand the company's product offering. Prior to Procera, Cam Cullen held senior Product Management and Marketing roles at Allot and Quarry Technologies/Reef Point Systems, where he was VP of Product Management and Marketing, and held various roles in business development, marketing, and sales at 3Com. Cam Cullen was a captain in the US Air Force where we worked at the National Security Agency and the Air Force Information Warfare Center, and holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Alabama.