Virtualisation is a must for operators says Daniel Velasco, Telco Tech Lead for Telefónica Digital. Velasco will be leading discussions on service innovation at the LTE Operator Mindshare 2014, taking place on the 23rd June 2014, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands.
What would you say are the key challenges that you are facing as you continue to develop your LTE networks?
In our team we are focusing in communications service innovation that should interwork with legacy services. The mix of legacy voice/SMS and LTE enabled VoLTE is a great challenge to provide global services available to users no matter the core technology they use.
What is your view on NFV and SDN – are these just buzz words or are they relevant to your planned network deployment?
Regarding NFV and SDN, as the telco core moves away from circuit-switched technology to pure IP it will be a must for operators to relay all network infrastructure to virtualization technologies. In all projects in which we are involved, this virtualization would help a lot but is not currently supported in the industry for elements below service layer. It will reduce costs and time to market of new network features.
While a lot of attention is focused on the RAN, how does Telefonica approach backhaul?
Telefónica has several LTE/EPC serving deployments. Regarding the control layer, Telefónica has much experience in IMS technology for VoIP service replacement of legacy PSTN service. Also lot of experience is accumulated over VoLTE and its commercial launch is in roadmap in many countries as devices became available.
Is IMS too late? Can operators realistically compete with OTT through IMS services?
From my personal point of view IMS is just another core technology that enables VAS. The main barrier today for operators wanting to build new services, are operational and regulatory rather than technological. I’m not saying SIP does not ease service creation; just that it does not solve the non-technical difficulties of bringing new services in the traditional telco approach. In Telefónica Digital our approach is connecting telco networks, whatever tech they have, to a, let’s call it ‘global service domain’, in which we can create OTT like services globally for all users (IMS enabled or not) and potentially all operator of Telefónica footprint.
What would you say is the most exciting thing going on in the 4G space right now?
I would say it is the ability to replicate all the IP communication facilities and services you have on other devices but leveraged with the mobility capability. Going from texting to real-time communications over IP on the mobile phone is the real benefit from 4G (3G was a first step yes, but often not great for real-time). When I say real-time comms I mean not only traditional services ported to 4G (e.g. VoLTE), but really any kind of communications, including pure OTT proposals for new services provided by operators.
The LTE Operator Mindshare 2014 is taking place on the 23rd June 2014, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands.