Content drives carrier upgrades in 2011: Juniper Networks

No plans to launch rival tablet PC next year, despite Cisco's Cius

Major upgrades of local mobile networks are set to soar next year as service providers struggle to supply bandwidth to the exploding number of smartphones, according to Juniper Networks.

"[Service providers] still have to deliver a really good customer experience to the users otherwise they will churn,” Juniper’s director of service provider business, Alex Krawchuk, told Computerworld Australia.

“They need to be able to transport that data in the lowest cost possible otherwise they won’t make money," he said. "They really need to architect their networks differently and look at content-type delivery networks and different ways of delivery that content.”

By way of example, Krawchuck said Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA), iiNet, Telstra and Optus were all currently making major investments in their network with content delivery in mind.

VHA in particular has signalled plans to launch an 850MHz network in Australia as network sharing deals with Telstra come to a close, with TPG providing fibre backhaul for additional sites. However, Sydney customers on the third largest mobile carrier have suffered problems for nearly a month due to a software fault.

Major carriers have also pushed forward with trials of LTE fourth generation technology as a means to providing higher bandwidth to mobiles, while Optus has faced growing use of its wholesale network from new mobile virtual network operators (MVNO).

Local service providers were also facing increasing competition from content delivery network providers, such as Akamai, Krawchuk claimed.

“A lot of the local service providers are saying, ‘we should be doing this [content delivery] ourselves — we need to reach higher in the value stack given the NBN is coming’,” he said.

Carriers, vendors and end-users were also likely to invest increasingly in smartphone security by larger corporates in an effort to secure company data.

“There is the potential for corporate networks and internal networks to be attacked via smartphones… it is a new threat vector,” Krawchuk said. “[A user] could be browsing on their iPad and if they gets some malware on it could flick into the corporate LAN.”

Krawchuk said telcos were likely to invest heavily in local data centres as they increasingly moved to become providers of Cloud services.

“It will be a sizable market — definitely in the tens of millions — and you are seeing it almost daily with the Global Switch announcing their investment, Digital Rivers, Macquarie Telecom has announced a new data centre, NextDC. It is all off the back of this incredible absorption of data and Cloud services.”

Krawchuk added that, unlike rival Cisco and its move into the tablet PC market with its Cius device, Juniper Networks had no plans to launch its own tablet.

“We will stay out of that market,” he said. “That’s going to be a commodity market and is not where our strength is.”

Follow Tim Lohman on Twitter: @TLohman

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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Tags bandwidthCloudservice providersTelcojuniper networks

More about Akamai TechnologiesCiscoGlobal SwitchHutchisonIinetJuniper NetworksJuniper NetworksLANmobilesOptusTelstra CorporationTPG TelecomVHAVodafone

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