2020 predictions review – part 2 [Video]

By Dudy Cohen 8 min read

2020 was a year that took us by surprise. Nevertheless, let’s see if we got any of our predictions for this year right.

Part 2 of 2.


2020 predictions review - part 2

Hi again. So we talked about my 2020 predictions. I think so far they were pretty much on spot. So let's look at the second article I released last year, 2020 network predictions part two and see how did I do there.

So disaggregation, I predicted it to be a major trend in 2020, and it was. Disaggregation promoted by TIP, promoted by O-RAN, promoted by various operators and even operators like Rakuten and Dish which are Greenfield which you expect to go safe and to choose one vendor to build their entire network. Saw the value of open networks and disaggregation and did the extra effort to build their network in a disaggregated way. So disaggregation is a trend that goes way beyond the 5G domain. You see the AT&T announcement about their core routing and the core network built on disaggregation. You see Telefonica and Vodafone pushing into OpenRAN and disaggregation and so on and so forth. So disaggregation indeed was a major trend in 2020 and so was cloud.

Cloud is like the next step of disaggregation. If you can run something on generic commercial off-the-shelf hardware, in most cases you can run it over a cloud instance, over a virtualized machine in the cloud. And indeed we saw a trend going to cloud-native applications in the mobile industry and outside the mobile industry. And it's worth mentioning Microsoft's major move acquiring Affirmed Networks and acquiring Metaswitch and building an ecosystem which is based on cloud but that can provide basically the entire core of 5G and some of the RAN functionalities in 5G, as cloud native application.

Security, Security is something that I predicted will take a major role in decisions in activities in solutions as we move to cloud, as we put more mission-critical traffic on top of our network.
I have to say this was less the highlight of the discussion in 2020 but I still believe security is something we should look after when we move to an open and cloud-based network. And of course when we talk about security we'd have to talk about Trump and about the decision of the Trump Administration to ban Chinese vendors from multiple network instances and basically many countries around the world following it. So indeed this was a major issue in 2020, that change the vendor power map in the mobile and telecom industry. What will happen next year where Trump will be replaced by a new president in the US? It's hard to say, this is something we need to look at and see how this plays out.

AI, BD, ML; artificial intelligence, big data, machine learning everything that has to do with taking all the information that we have in the network and trying to predict what will happen in the network, trying to automate actions in the network. We see this evolving in 2020 but this trend is a long-term trend and I believe we will continue seeing it more and more in the next few years.
We're approaching the end so network slicing and I combine it with SDN.

network slicing, It is still early we don't see network slicing in 2020, we will see it in 5G standalone networks in 2021, 2022 now that that standardization is over. And this also is the case with SDN.
SDN is a must, when you do network slicing when you do this extra-large massive network densification and you need to manage a lot of services over multiple network slicing slices and network domains, we're not there yet but we do see a lot of operators starting to implement SDN in different network domains and thinking of SDN as the unified main management and control platform for their 5G network.

Content. Content, I predicted this will be the year of personalized content, of over-the-top content and boy was I right because 2020 in unforeseen ways closed the cinemas and changed the content industry into a more personalized one. We saw multiple services launched in 2020 including Disney Plus, Warner Media‘s HBO Max, including NBC Universal's Peacock, including Apple Plus and we're going to see Paramount Plus, from ViacomCBS we're going to see Discovery Plus, we're going to see multiple over-the-top services that will bring content to us in very personal ways. We saw lately that AT&T’s Warner Media decided to put all their big hits of 2021 that were supposed to be in the cinema, also on HBO Max. So this is a trend we see that most a lot more content is running over the network to us, rather than we go to the cinema to see it. So this is something that affects network severely and dramatically and this trend I think will only grow as we move further.

One thing that I missed big time was that I anticipated that the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 will change the network while the Tokyo Olympics were delayed to 2021. So no way I could see that coming.

And last but not least the fact that we are moving into millimeter-wave realm in 5G, the fact that we are doing higher frequencies that require a more densified network because of the wave propagation and that can allow operators to provide more capacity. This is something we start to see in 2020 although you know the auctions for millimeter waves are a bit behind the auctions for midbands. So we will see it as a second step in 5G deployments.

So all in all I think I did pretty well, you know considering if you take all the predictions in general for 2020 and how they crashed in face of the reality. I think I did pretty well. I would give myself around 80 as a score and what's next in 2021. I think we will see a lot of the trends I talked about gaining more traction and more momentum and I truly believe that 2021 will be a much better and happier year than 2020 was not that is it is much of a challenge. But anyhow I wish us all a healthy and happy 2021. Thank you for watching the Backhaul Lounge during 2020. I hope you will continue doing it in 2021. That's it for me today. Bye.

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