Trends are not always flashy. Take the iPad and smartphones explosion of the past few years. The flashy part, the devices themselves, the multiple media interactions they are capable of and the applications they enable, is only part of the story. The bigger trend might be the change in mobile internet that comes from owning a tablet or smartphone.
Multimedia personal devices inherently rely on heavily on the cloud to activate and accentuate their utility. The proliferation of multimedia personal devices in fact has emerged as a major acceleration in data communications and is making an already ballooning demand for network bandwidth demand even larger.
Tablet is particular are having a significant disruptive impact on mobile networking. “The tablet is the first mass-market device that requires the cloud to provide additional processing power and storage capacity for all the applications and content that users want,” noted Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert) in a recent paper, “The High Leverage Network.”
How big an impact? Alcatel-Lucent noted in the white paper that the volume of mobile-connected tablets should rise from 34 million devices in 2011 to 424.9 million by 2017, according to an NPD DisplaySearch study conducted this past May. This will help increase mobile video downloads to 4.2 billion by 2015 (an 879 percent increase from 2011) and public cloud revenue to $177 billion by 2015 (an 89 percent increase), among several other statistics that show the inexorable direction toward a perfect storm of data use.
“Essentially, we are close to a scenario in which demand is actually driving the supply side as opposed to the reverse,” the paper noted. An Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs (News - Alert) model of the future data demands on the network predicts that there could be a demand between 45 and 85 times growth based on unconstrained demand if supply limitations are ignored.
Obviously the network has to grow to meet the demand, and this requires a High Level Network architecture (HLN).
A High Level Network architecture, the first iteration of which Alcatel-Lucent introduced in 2009, is a converged, scalable, intelligent, efficient all-IP network that delivers bandwidth at the lowest cost per bit. High leverage networks also enable service providers to partner with ACPs and to use the capabilities of the network to deliver a better customer experience in exchange for a share of revenue, according to the paper by Alcatel-Lucent.
Alcatel-Lucent has continued to evolve the smart network to accommodate the latest usage shifts—including tablet usage—and now it includes additional capabilities that make it ideal for the increasing data usage storm.
Some of these additional capabilities include:
- Cloud orchestration, which controls virtual network and cloud resources to deliver applications with the best customer experience.
- Yield management, which maximizes the value of the network through real-time payment and charging.
- Decision analytics, whichi is described as, “a Service Level Agreement (SLA)-centric layer that analyzes real-time network and offline data, providing analysis and decision-making to optimize the SLA for the user and the application.”
“The HLN is a platform for innovation that enables service providers to realize the value of the network by addressing current and future business challenges, increasing revenue and reducing costs,” Alcatel-Lucent noted.
The bottom line is that with tablet and smartphone adoption accelerating reliance on the cloud, technology such as High Level Network architecture is fast becoming a network necessity.
Edited by Peter Bernstein