Just a couple of years back when reliance jio debuted into Indian telecom scenario with LTE offerings, things went into surprises for the end users, not only commercial surprises like free offerings, in fact that was more surprising for incumbents, but the power of data rates that LTE offers. As people who were not accustomed to application like skype etc, first time saw video calls with their handsets, and could see their near and dear far apart over a video on their hand sets. It was all exhilarating and exciting with boost of free data available to use. The most admiring part of the story remains that Jio's gigantic plan taken the Indian telecom into next phase.
As we know that technologies are continuously evolving, not only those which transmitting data, but those too, generating or devouring data. So there is increase in demand as well as supply and intermediaries are coping with that too. In a comprehensive end to end view it's about whole ecosystem has emerged to create new services and infrastructures to deliver more surprises, nevertheless to say that application like AR/VR and Autonomous vehicles and many such will keep the end user into an awe, in coming time.
The core of this all lies at ICT, as the new phase of ICT is being taken with the notion of Industry 4.0, and reach of the ICT lies with Access of Broadband, notwithstanding be it wireless or wireline, that's the commercial things.
Broadband in India has not yet been taken seriously, in sense of social empowerment and access of remote and last connect to main stream. Reliance jio came with LTE as an telecom unicron, as India is a mass market and whole world is moving to mass market instead, gone are days where industries used to capture market of elites.
The success of reliance lies on the fact of its understanding of Indian market and plan the things big -- covering the whole gamut. Like not only providing network services and infrastructure but also enabling the common man to access it through free data and cheap mobile handsets. Moreover, not exaggerating by the understanding that nothing is actually free, Indian public can be utilized well for heavy load testing - so instead of circulating test phones to enterprise work force, why not to people itself for free, an another aspect to see reliance wisdom.
But the question is not to set up an incumbent here but the social reform, as Govt regulatory organizations are also of the mindset to set up the incumbents only, completely overlooking power of ICT and most importantly broadband. The data rates and call drop issues are crippling the real power of ICT and handicapping it without right kind of regulation and control over the services, which breaks the reliability and sustainability with the trust for new kind of services.
Leveraging Govt Infra……
The Govt initiatives like "BharatNet", is about providing information highways through fiber network across the country, and also like Digital India, Make-in-India etc to create a whole ecosystem, are viable ingredients. 5G from Govt has been put to adapt the technology at large scale, DOT is setting a test bed for incubating it. These are no doubt encouraging and remarkable moves and yielding the outcome as well, but more is there needed to be done.
As optical network through "BharatNet" is proving a good infrastructure for backhaul connectivity to last mile access, there are other options being and would be explored too. Recently Reliance jio tied up with Hughes satellite systems to use their satellite to provide backhaul connectivity to last mile LTE access at remote part of India.
The Project like "BharatNet" is the most important one to set the base or minimum viable infrastructure for India broadband, though focus must move on satellite or other technologies too. The Forums like BIF (Broadband India Forum) has been catalyzing for the use of satellite backhaul. This is encouraging new entrepreneurs to come up. In recent time, like in a year or two, its being closely observed that some businesses are being cropping up based on such infra and also being felicitated by cheap china supplier for their fulfillments.
Leveraging WiFi ……
In this new breed of last mile access providers, WiFi has emerged as prominent technology, with ease of deployment and low cost of management. We have seen many retail like business mushrooming, not only in rural but in urban India too. So there are not incumbents like Reliance Jio but also the people in the propensity of grocery or garment businesses taking advantage of Indian perspective for their greedy gains in all their capacity.
Indian perspective is not mature enough to differentiate the data, As we are habitual to go with the loose control services so there is less viability, at least in current scenarios, for strict data classification, a fast internet is enough to deliver almost all the contemporary services with manageable user experiences.
WiFi Security, in specific, and network security in general are something of paramount importance, but that is not much in consideration with the network service providers as their prominent motto is gain the business, and also the general public is not conscious of the security on their network. This is not only from the point of view of ignorance of consumers but our social behavioral traits too, as we have not been part of World War one or two.
So, where the future lies?
Future lies with us, WiFi is a technology, has been deeply rooted and well being there, not only coping and sustaining with other wireless access technologies but beating them too. WiFi is existing standards of 802.11ac and upcoming 802.11ax are quite sufficiently empowered to fulfill Indian broadband perspective well in advance till the 5G takes its foot prints. Even if the giants has its focus on 5G its going to be FWA cases in recent times and fulfill the backhaul requirements, in addition to fiber and satellite.
WiFi has the power to fulfill not only broadband requirements but also IOT and IIOT specific requirements too. Therefore WiFi in Indian as well as many Asian perspectives is a holy grail.
Therefore Thinking of WiFi is not about providing few meagre objectives like bringing employments in form of retail business, or providing a connectivity for common services through PDO or CSC, but need a BiG Idea to invest and deliver a country wide side by side associative and affordable connectivity for Broadband Access to unconnected or to Bring the remote to main stream…..It's not a technical challenge it's a will to bring social impact….deliver WiFi in right way with right business cases in comprehensive and coordinated way.
There must be industry associations or right forums to come forward for the kind of initiatives, TRAI's PDO is not going to create the required framework, there need to be an integrated solutions with a Big Idea.
The most budging term in telecom or IT industry today is
“EDGE”. In fact there are two notions on the fore one is “edge computing” and
other is “fog computing”, both are about bringing the cloud near the point of
action. Essentially it’s a cloud computing, a freak of virtualization at front
The need of “edge computing” or “fog computing” has been
attributed to “real time” or “low latency” approaches, i.e. process the data at
the point or near the point where it is being generated and produce the result
for real time action.
Whereas Fog is much on the point of data generation, the
edge computing is a centralized or aggregated stuff, at the nearest possible
point of access. Therefore fog is much about a flat distributed system but edge
is little different through the notion of “edge”.
I don’t want to jump into hardcore technicality with these
stuffs, as there would be specifics but essentially it about virtualization at
different points in end to end construct. My idea is finding the edge.
“Edge”, as per vendors, is something about hierarchical
distribution of certain functionalities in E2E construct. “Edge” is something
creates a moat for innovation. I don’t differ with vendors but I feel that edge
disrupt the very nature of cloud services too, it’s about providing cloud
services with specific needs, different KPIs and SLAs, rather more customized.
I am here referring to public cloud as my thought and intention of putting my
idea is around that’s only.
So “edge” disrupts the cloud in sense of not only providing
a back office or central office work but distribute the work at different
level, in terms of SLA and KPIs. Think about the OTT services, the players started
them with much turbulence but not only settled but dominated. Edge is in that
sense the gate through cloud for many of service creations for small players.
So, don't just confine to architectural adherence from the vendors for creating the edge, there are many possibilities to find your own edge and provide the service.
5G will eventually require a fully virtualized, software-controlled network in order to automate the complexity of network management and service delivery. Although we’re not there yet, test and proofs-of-concept like Deutsche Telekom and Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s (HPE) work to deploy virtual network functions (VNFs) in a cloud-native shared data environment (SDE) is indicative of the progress toward zero-touch networks. 5G will encompass a huge variety of types of traffic, meaning networks need to be architected for flexibility. The three primary 5G use cases are enhanced mobile broadband, massive machine-type communications and ultra reliable low latency communications. Running the gamut from high-bandwidth activities like virtual reality to low-intensity, intermittent communications from connected sensors. Sven Langer, DT’s senior core network architect, said the proof-of-concept “allowed a rapid and smooth integration with 3rd-party VNFs” and showed a response time around 1 millisecond,” which “provide[s]an excellent basis for cloud-native network functions to externally store all data, especially dynamic context data that allows seamless failovers and improves the customer experience. HPE’s Dave Sliter highlight the challenges service providers will face with the move to 5G and the new types of services it enables. “Adoption of 5G technology,” he said, “introduces major operational and financial challenges. HPE Shared Data Environment is an essential enabler for this transformation and reduces these risks.”
5G is not a nut at all like previous Gs. 5G is a re-imagination, paradigm shifts and new vision to
accommodate certain advancements on radio and core network technologies, like
massive MIMO, SDN/NFV, VNF/Cloud and MEC. 5G is also about upcoming use
cases and capability & flexibility provided for them like IOT, Network
Slicing or Application defined networking.
By and large it’s an end-to-end overhauling with new
instruments to existing networks, which may be of concern for many reason, that
need a transformational approach. As VNF and Cloud are most obvious tools to
take up the necessary load of new functionality, MEC at the RAN level will be
pivotal to discriminate the service logics and catalyze the application specific
The transformation is going to shape-in with the shift in
architectural paradigms to more hybrid or heterogeneous approaches and also
leveraging the virtualization to accommodate variety of applications and use
cases like for massive IOT, public safety, HDvideo, mission critical i.e. latency sensitive applications.
Mobile edge computing abbreviated as MEC is about the cloud
at edge or may be related to new term called as fog computing which is about
putting many of RAN specific functionalities on virtual systems which are
adaptive to load and computational requirements. MEC will help to provide right
orchestration for VNF kind of architecture need for End to End networking, in
term of network operation and performance optimization. MEC is best for the
uses cases like for content management networks, latency sensitive
applications, massive access management etc.
Virtualization is the kingpin in whole 5G conception as the
required flexibility of the systems and network can be provided through it and
that help to accommodate the application specific configuration with the term
that provide end to end re-construction i.e. it is all about network slicing.
Network slicing can also be envisaged as application defined networking that is
about ad-hoc re-deployment or re-configuring network in line to the specific
application requirements.As per the 5G
specification, this re-deployment time is not in days but in minutes and saying
precisely it is 90 minutes only.