4G could entice mobile operators to SDN

A Juniper Networks executive claims the refresh needed for 4G networks could lead mobile operators to become early adopters of software defined networking

The increasing roll-out of 4G technology could lead to an upsurge in software defined networking adoption (SDN), according to a Juniper Networks executive.

Mike Marcellin, vice president of strategy and marketing for the firm admitted what many in the industry have said - that the hype for SDN is here but adoption is some way off.

“[Companies] are very keen on what software defined networking could bring, so much so that they are working with us, and probably other companies as well, to realise the immediate benefits,” he said. “However… this will probably play out over a number of years.”

Yet Marcellin claimed mobile service providers could be the exception to the rule, thanks to their upcoming installations of 4G technology.  

“Any network architecture… even if the company wants to move quickly, takes time to deploy and often has to wait for a refresh before it can be implemented,” he added. “But now, mobile operators are about to enter a significant refresh cycle thanks to the introduction of 4G LTE.”

“From out at the radio base stations to back in the network, upgrades are needed to increase the bandwidth capabilities for 4G. Those who are starting to look at this could also start to look to SDN for immediate benefits.”

Marcellin said Juniper was in conversations with mobile operators across the globe, including in Europe, and will launch a number of SDN solutions aimed at these specific types of customer, hoping to catch the wave.

But the executive was under no illusion that every operator he spoke to would follow this path.

“We do think we will see some immediate adoption but, as I said, the technology will play out over time,” he concluded.

Juniper outlined its SDN strategy at its partner conference last month. Read more about it here.

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