Attending a recent WDM conference was instructive in many ways. Perhaps the most striking conclusion is that everyone is facing the same set of challenge in the telecoms industry, at least for the deployment of new technologies. In an interesting panel discussion, a number of migration strategies to new transport networks were discussed. Variously, the following were proposed (we paraphrase, of course):
- “Cap and grow” – cease legacy deployments for a particular application area and use the next generation equipment for future growth
- Graceful migration towards new equipment, rather than wholesale replacement
- Use specific applications as drivers
Well, the above list could have come from some of the early IMS conferences we attended five or six years ago. All make good sense, no doubt, but it’s interesting in that although the technology is rather different from that which we normally encounter, the network evolution challenges are the same. Moreover, several speakers also pointed to organisational and cultural challenges acting as impediments to the adoption of new transport technologies. Of course, this was a key factor highlighted in the IMS research we did with Moriana last year.
But, in the IMS domain, the market has, in our belief matured. The above arguments don’t hold much sway now, as realistically the IMS is the only game in town that delivers on the requirements. The same will happen in the WDM market: the newer technologies will soon become the de facto standards; it’s just the vendors have to go through a lot of pain before this happens. Plus ça change.
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