Communications Service Providers (CSPs) want to digitalize their networks, their operations, their customer interactions, their entire business to revolutionize their cost basis, increase customer satisfaction, and grow revenue. To compete effectively with the web-scale players, they need projects that bring orders of magnitude improvements in all parts of their business, instead of the traditional 10% to 20%. We in ACG Research have adopted the term 10xNetwork to capture that concept: an order of magnitude improvement in the speed, agility, cost, and scalability of their networks and operating environments (There are, of course, also similar needs in the revenue generation and business operations side of CSPs.).
The aspirational goals of the 10xNetwork are measured in four areas: agility, speed, cost, and scale.
- 10xNeworks can be augmented and configured to introduce new services at 10x the rate of networks today.
- Support a wider range of services and applications via a software-defined architecture instead of a hardware-defined one.
- Network infrastructure and the services they support deploy faster and in more configurations on a wider array of open infrastructure and software platforms.
- Open systems and automation support a wider range of hardware and software in 10xNetworks.
- 10xNetwork operations respond to real-time network conditions, faults, and changing customer requirements 10x faster than legacy networks.
- Service design and provisioning much faster than today.
- The time to fix faults, service level agreement violations and security issues are reduced.
- New technologies and services are adopted faster because of open interfaces, common platforms, and advanced software in 10xNetworks.
- Total costs of a 10xNetwork are one-tenth of the current capital expenses and operations expenses.
- Higher return on investments allows profitable support of smaller, focused market segments.
- Lower development and deployment costs support the economic fast-fail of new services in the 10xNetwork.
- Networks can deliver 10x more service to 10x more people without 10x the cost.
- Services are sized to meet needs of specific markets, from exceedingly small to exceptionally large with an ability to scale up and down effectively and efficiently (elastic scalability).
- Wider range of services and applications are supported via common, scalable operations, network, computing, and storage infrastructures.
- Testing and integration are automated to support larger numbers and variety of applications and services without significantly increasing operations costs in the 10xNetwork.
The 10xNetwork Project
My colleagues and I at ACG Research will be continuing our research on new network technologies and operations architectures in the context of the 10xNetwork paradigm, asking questions such as:
- How close to the 10xNetwork aspirations can a propitious implementation of updated hardware and software technologies bring a CSP?
- Which technologies can have the greatest impact in achieving the 10xNetwork goals?
- Which areas of the CSPs are the best to focus on for high-yield benefits in the short, medium, and long terms?
- What role does software-defined networks and artificial intelligence play in achieving the 10xNetwork goals?
- How automated and autonomous can 10xNetwork operations be? How can CSPs ensure that autonomous networks have guardrails on their actions?
- What is the role of new disaggregated network architectures and open source software and hardware in realizing 10xNetworks?
- How can the introduction of 5G infrastructure help realize the 10xNetwork?
- What new technologies will be needed to reach the 10xNetwork aspirational goals?
- Which vendors are helping CSPs reach their 10Network aspirational goals in the various network and operations domains? How are they doing it?
- What CSP projects have shown the greatest movement to a 10xNetwork?
- Which CSPs are leading in the implementation of the 10xNetwork?
- What are the best paths for CSPs to take to modernize their networks, operations, processes, and employee skills to realize their 10xNetwork?