Threats and Opportunities for Communication Service Providers (CSPs)

Cloud computing is increasingly becoming a land of opportunities for companies in various industries. It is clear that we are migrating from the PC era (all information stored and available in one place) to the era of Cloud (information moved and accessed from any location and device), and in this process many IT vendors are beginning to see the advantages of the cloud not only for businesses but for consumers.

In this context of evolution, the big question is who will take the cloud to the next level? To answer this question, some eyes begin to settle on communication service providers (CSPs) because they offer diversity, focus on connectivity and its relationship with both corporate and end user customers.

While the ICT market is moving clearly toward architecture of cloud computing, the needs of communication service providers (CSPs) are increasingly important. The communication technology is growing a lot these days. Cloud computing is of great help in communication technology. It offers faster communication and operations to advance the environment today. Cloud computing supports remote data storage and virtual meets all requirements of people who rely on Internet to complete their tasks quickly and efficiently.

Although this technology is still in its infancy, but good news is that CSPs can hugely benefits from cloud as they own an underlying network and they have millions of customers. There is greater opportunity for CSPs to generate new stream of revenue by offering cloud based services. This includes hosted applications like SharePoint and Microsoft Exchange, and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).

Trends and Technologies in CSPs

The most common issues faced by carriers have been failure in scaling their services and putting hands on wrong technology early in the evolution of the industry. This trend, however, has changed with the cloud evolution.

GigaOM recently published a research report based on the trends and technologies shaping the cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service for CSPs, how these are impacting and what CSPs can do to catch up with the cloud evolution.

Scaling of Services

As traditional method of working style of CSPs, network operations and IT operations are managed separately leading to huge inefficiencies in work and network infrastructure are not fully utilized in this process. To overcome the issue, CSPs are looking to combine these two operations into a single architecture for more efficient communications networks and significant cost savings.

Cloud computing is based on economies of scale of the strategy. The installation cost of the cloud can be high, but the cost per unit becomes smaller as your business grows. CSPs are figuring out to open their networks to third party application providers as well as implementing pay-as-you-go charging billing models.

Green Data Center

The first criterion for carriers is undoubtedly the ability to meet customers’ needs and requirements. So telcos are starting to analyze its relationship and started to offer additional value-added services in the form Open Data Center Alliance and Open Compute Project for driving down data center costs.

Low cost power and green energy models are two areas that will come into play and CSPs will begin to pay attention to data center power market.

Software-Defined Data Centers

Usually, data centers consist of set of computer systems, storage and network. The management of these devices is a serious challenge. In these environments, a growing need to simplify and automate the networks is to run a more intelligent and efficient software-defined data centers. And network virtualization is the key to achieving that goal.

The virtualization of the network combines operational and economic benefits of shared systems with high levels of integrity, performance and security provided by separate systems. To this end, virtualization switches provide various security and networking functions such as firewall and intrusion detection on a single physical hardware platform, so that network administrators can configure, deploy and manage these functions as if they were made ​​by devices different.

CSPs can take advantage of these solutions to drive better cost efficiencies and would also provide them liberty to try new solutions and services in isolated environment without impacting the production setting.

Open Source is the Future

The report suggested that open source software development is driving much of the cloud innovation. While most severs on data centers run on Windows (about 70 percent) and rest on Linux, but when it comes to software implementation like choosing operating systems, the market share is almost taken entirely by Linux based.

CSPs can take opportunity of the open source platforms such as Cassandra, OpenStack and Hadoop to create new services for very little cost.

Big Data Analytics

According to a recent report, over 7.5 billion smart devices would be accessing the Internet by 2015 and smartphone data traffics is expected to increase to 56 percent of total traffic in 2015, driving hundreds of petabytes of traffic per month.

CSPs are now generating larger amount of data including network and customer data, and call detail records. The report growth has forced CSPs to rethink their business model and role of the big data analytics. Big data solution will help the carriers to deliver better products and better customer experience for their customers.

Carriers could join forces against AWS

As per a report from Wall Street Journal, Amazon Web Services (AWS) generate $500 million to $1 billion in revenues per year. The company has its operation in the US, Europe, Asia Pacific and other regions.

In contrast, the popularity of AWS is a direct threat to CSPs. CSPs that provide higher bandwidth and performance, richer services, deeper security capabilities and get their act together to build a collaborated on standard federation can build competitive services against disruptive new cloud services.

At some point it is also expected that telecommunications operators can provide more value to the end consumer’s relationship with the cloud, thereby extending the benefits. The user is constantly seeking more effective ways to store your information and that’s where the carriers can provide added value by offering personal clouds. The personal cloud will allow them to store your music, photos, movies, documents, among others, and access them from any location and device.

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