In 2018 STL partners coined the term Coordination Age to describe how connectivity between people, computers, applications and ‘things’ is generating volumes of analysable data and how the use of advanced analytics and artificial intelligence would create the conditions enabling governments, enterprises, and consumers to understand the world in ways which would be game-changing for society. A world where resources are better distributed and used more effectively than ever before leading to substantial social, economic, and health benefits.
A critical component of the Coordination Age is the universal availability of flexible, fast, reliable, low-latency networks that support a myriad of applications which, in turn, enable a complex array of communications, decisions, transactions, and processes to be completed quickly and, in many cases, automatically without human intervention. The network remains key: if it is not fit for purpose the ability to match demand and supply real-time is impossible.
The historical ecosystem of relationships between telcos and their hardware and software suppliers has highlighted the constraints telcos face in embracing the Coordination Age. A relationship where proprietary, siloed vertical solutions and an over reliance on one supplier has left operator networks susceptible to inflexibilities and created challenges in terms of speed of innovation and adaptability. As a result, nimble internet players are capturing commercial opportunities where value increasingly comes from service innovation rather than heavy capital expenditure on the network.
The Coordination Age requires more from the network than ever before – applications require the network to be flexible, accessible and support a range of technical and commercial options. Applications cannot run independently of the network but need to integrate with it. The network must be able to impart actionable insights and flex its speed, bandwidth, latency, security, business model and countless other variables quickly and autonomously to meet the needs of applications using it.
The Telco Cloud is the enabler of this future age and represents the move to a network built on common off-the-shelf hardware and flexible interoperable software from best-of-breed suppliers that runs wherever it is needed.
The chart describes how the Telco Cloud will become a growth enabler for operators as it represents:
- A new approach to the network
- A fundamental shift in what it means to be an operator, in terms of technology, culture, processes, decision making and overall company organisation
- A driver of future telecoms differentiation and growth;
STL’s recent report The Telco Cloud Manifesto discusses the challenges in realising the telco cloud vision and acknowledges that not all operators can take the same path or approach to more virtualised networks. The report offers three generic telco cloud implementation models for operators to consider in order to maximise the benefits of telco cloud while minimising implementation risks.
See our other in-depth research on Telco Cloud: