Operators take control of service layer


Three quarters of operators will deploy converged service layer by 2018  

A new survey indicates strong operator demand for a converged service layer (CSL).  According to the survey, commissioned by telecoms software provider, OpenCloud and conducted by Heavy Reading, over three quarters of operators will have deployed CSL architecture within the next two years.

Operators are now commonly running multiple cellular, Wi-Fi and wire-line access networks concurrently and are facing the challenge of providing a consistent set of services across their network estate. A CSL is defined as a service-layer architecture that has the ability to deliver real time voice and video calling telecom services in a manner that is independent of the access network technology. Faced with the complexity of legacy service layers, operators are moving towards CSL adoption with a third currently in trial stages and a handful already deployed, the survey showed.

More than a third of operators’ surveyed stated that a CSL architecture is ‘critical’ to the delivery of services across different types of access networks, with a further 46% stating CSL is an ‘important’ component to achieving this goal.

The introduction of NFV was identified as a key technical driver of CSL deployment by more than half of operators. The survey also revealed almost half of operators (48%) felt the migration to NFV offered an ideal opportunity to introduce CSL into the network.

Jonathan Bell, VP Marketing at OpenCloud, explained:  “The survey results clearly demonstrate an active and growing interest in a converged service layer architecture that can serve multiple legacy and new access networks. With a converged service layer, operators have the ability to deliver real time voice and video calling services regardless of the access network technology, meaning services may be delivered over  2G, 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi and in the future 5G connections.”

In addition to NFV migration, telecom operators have identified other strategic business related drivers behind CSL implementation: up to a third stated service agility (or service introduction) as a key reason behind driving CSL adoption; 58% stated it was a result of the move to 4G and 5G technologies and standards; CAPEX (60%) and OPEX reductions (51%) were also cited as key drivers.


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