Ericsson says networks ‘have to change’


Swedish vendor’s CTO discusses need for software-defined networking and urges telcos to ‘make WiFi part of the network’.

Telecoms operators must change the way they roll out their networks if they want to both cope with the increasing demands placed on them by growing mobile data use and monetise that data, Ericsson CTO Ulf Ewaldsson said on Tuesday.

″Networks, they have to change,″ Ewaldsson said, delivering the opening keynote speech at this year’s Broadband World Forum in Amsterdam. ″They have to be built smart,″ as well as scalable and able to deliver superior performance, he said.

Service-aware, all-IP networks, with virtualisation and software-defined networking (SDN) are key to Ewalsson’s vision. It is vital for network operators to know what they are carrying on their networks if they want to be able to charge for it, he explained.

Ewaldsson detailed the need to separate the carrier plain from the control plain and to build out the control layer and link it with the BSS/OSS. ″Here’s where the monetisation is happening,″ said Ewalsson. It allows telcos to guarantee quality of service (QoS): ″Operators are looking for differentiation of experience,″ he said.

Small cells and heterogeneous networks will also be important tools for telcos.

Ericsson predicts that ″there will be about 3 billion mobile broadband subscribers in the next five years,″ in which time smartphone traffic will increase 20-fold. In 10 years there will be a 1,000-fold increase in traffic, Ewaldsson predicted.

As such, he talked up the need for operators to use both regulated and unregulated spectrum.

″Make WiFi part of the network,″ he urged. ″With 1,000-fold traffic [growth] it’s going to be needed.″