The modern digital age has evolved in leaps and bounds, leading to numerous advances in technology. With this evolution, the demands on our networking infrastructure have significantly expanded. From multi-cloud networking to edge computing, from remote office connectivity to IoT integrations, the landscape is rapidly changing.
In this dynamic environment, while cloud service providers have emerged as the leading force for offering powerful compute constructs for developers, there’s an area they haven’t mastered – networking. Enter telecom service providers, the experienced giants of the networking world like AT&T, Verizon, BT, Lumen, Orange, T-Mobile, etc.
Telecom service providers have a long-standing history, stretching back decades, of building robust and resilient backbone networks that can cater to a multitude of requirements. They have been the silent workhorses, ensuring we stay connected across the globe. This experience is invaluable, especially when understanding the intricacies of wide area networks that large corporations rely upon.
While cloud service providers can sometimes shy away from even sharing a stage with competitors, telecom service providers have a different approach. They embrace open standards and often engage in cooperative arrangements with competitors. This collaborative approach has fostered an environment of shared growth and resilience, as opposed to isolated development in silos.
The innovation by telecom service providers isn’t limited to just hardware. The recent development of 5G API sets is a testament to their forward-thinking. By exposing network features to developers, they’re creating an ecosystem where applications can harness the combined might of connectivity and computing networks. This synergy can revolutionize how applications interact with networks, leading to unprecedented advancements.
Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) is pegged to be the next big thing in networking. Echoing the transformative effect cloud computing had on servers, NaaS promises to make networking more elastic, cloud-delivered, and programmable. Telecom service providers are uniquely positioned to lead this wave. Their inherent understanding of standard approaches to networking, juxtaposed with competitive pricing and relationship management, positions them at the forefront of this burgeoning market.
On the other hand, each cloud service provider often resorts to a proprietary method for connections, creating complexity and reducing flexibility. In contrast, telecom service providers emphasize standard approaches while still competing on features, pricing, and relationships.
As the NaaS market is projected to exceed $25 billion, it’s crucial for network architects and engineers to make informed decisions. And while cloud service providers certainly have their strengths, when it comes to building the backbone networks of the future, telecom service providers seem to have the upper hand.
With the upcoming ONUG Fall in NYC on Oct 24/25, there’s an opportunity to delve deeper into the state of the NaaS market. For decision-makers and technologists alike, this event could provide the insights necessary to ascertain whether NaaS, offered by telecom service providers, is indeed the future.
The combination of decades-long expertise, an openness to collaboration, technological advancements like 5G, and the dawn of NaaS makes telecom service providers an attractive choice for networking. As the digital landscape evolves, these seasoned providers may be the backbone that corporations need, leaving cloud services to what they do best – cater to developers.