Technology and Innovation Fueled by Covid19
by Andrew Lui
I feel it goes without saying that the world will never be the same after Covid19. It has fostered the wide-spread implementation of the work at home mentality and social distancing, which made internet-based services that were “nice-to-have” become a “must-need”. During this pandemic, the importance of technology and innovation within the telecommunication industry was brought into the public light. With all that’s been going on lately, I’d thought it would be interesting to look at how telecoms are using innovations in technology to get through the trials put forth by Covid19.
Just a bit of background on the types of data surges telecoms have seen and just how important it is to always have a strong and capable network infrastructure. According to a GSMA survey, telecoms worldwide have seen voice and data traffic surges by more than 50% due to the effect of Covid19. In the United States we saw up to 52% increase in VPN traffic and core network traffic surging 23%. In Europe, mobile traffic grew 63% and broadband usage surged up 60%. As well as in Japan, there were reports of data usage increasing 40%. Without all the telecoms’ efforts of consistently improving their network capabilities, the stay-at-home economy could have turned out very differently.
At first, I was holding my breath. To all of a sudden have the majority of the population using the internet for most of their necessities must have put a tremendous amount of pressure on the telecoms’ networks. I was able to sigh relief when the announcements of how well their networks were coping with the situation. I can’t help but smile a little bit to know that UfiSpace was part of how well some telecom networks handled it. Last year we launched our Distributed Disaggregated Chassis solution, which increased our customers’ network capacity to heights never seen before. I could not be prouder of the fact that our 5G solutions were part of the answer for telecommunication networks coping with the data surges in the first few months of Covid19.
Our Distributed Disaggregated Chassis (DDC) solution breaks apart, or disaggregates, the line and fabric components from the traditional monolithic chassis router into easier to manage standalone, open network white boxes called NCP (“line card” white boxes) and NCF (“fabric” white boxes). The NCP and NCF are connected via standard QSFP-DD optics. This not only provides our customers with the means to increase their network capacity up to hundreds of Tb per second, it also provides flexibility in capacity scaling using a “pay-as-you-grow” model as well. For example, whereas the traditional chassis is limited by how many slots it has and can only be upgraded by purchasing another large chassis with a set number of slots, our DDC can scale horizontally by connecting additional NCPs and NCFs.
Another benefit from our DDC solution is that the hardware and software are disaggregated as well. By disaggregating hardware from software and utilizing our open networking interfaces, Telecoms not only enabled more disruptive technologies to come in, they were also able to yield significant capex savings as well as opex savings such as from SDN automation. One instance of how these new technologies were being utilized during Covid19 was in the case of Telecom enterprise customers needing to increase video conferencing, instead of physically going to the premise to install hardware components with these features, they could just spin up more software instances to meet the demands.
My heart goes out to all of those around the world who were affected by such a tragic pandemic and I wish the best for everyone who is trying to make the best of the situation they are in. But I believe it’s times like these where we will push ourselves to new heights. I look forward to seeing all the new innovations and technologies that will be brought forth to improve our way of life.