NEC Malaysia bets on 5G with its open protocol, multivendor platform
By Karamjit Singh October 6, 2017
- Best of breed products allows customers cost-effective options, speed to market
- Strong, seamless connectivity needed to bring smart sensors, devices on to network
WHEN you think telco vendors, one thinks of the likes of Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia and ZTE. Japan’s NEC is not a name that would come to mind but the US$23.6 billion tech company is a leading telco vendor as well in the networking and software side, says Chong Kai Wooi (pic), Managing Director, NEC Corporation Malaysia Sdn Bhd.
“We are already providing transmission equipment for telcos here, for example our microwave. At the same time, Netcracker Technology, which is a NEC owned company, is used by the leading telcos here for their OSS/BSS solutions.” OSS (Operations Support Systems) and BSS (Business Support Systems) are used by telco operators to support their end to end services.
What NEC is doing now in the Malaysian market is that it is taking its telco and its communications expertise, and, predicting that 5G services will take off over the next three years, has rolled out a multivendor solution that offers customers a cost-effective and quicker way to deploy any network service they wish for, 4G for now and 5G when that becomes available.
An open protocol, cloud based solution, NEC has partnered with Netcracker Technology Red Hat, Juniper Networks and Dell EMC to offer an end-to-end multivendor 5G-ready virtualization platform for service providers and enterprises in Malaysia. In geek speak it is positioning itself as a full SDN/NFV (Software-Defined Networking/Network Functions Virtualisation) solution provider.
Especially for enterprises, Chong is confident that their best of breed solutions on offer, be it NEC’s or from their partners, will take away the massive headache of provisioning for any services that an enterprise may want to launch for its customers.
Adopting an open protocol, which allows vendors' equipment to interoperate without the need for a proprietary interface because they talk the same language is another huge advantage here and contributes to lowering costs and increasing speed to market.
Chong cites a study commissioned by Netcracker which surveyed 56 service providers in the communications industry and discovered that the top four benefits expected from SDN/NFV solutions include reduced time-to-market, improved network efficiency, capital expenditure savings and the opportunity to create and innovate new services, including over-the-top services.
Today, service providers and enterprises need six to twelve months to introduce a new service. With the full service SDN/NFV solution in place, the time to launch new enterprise services can be reduced by up to 70 percent, according to the research.
Meanwhile NEC's Assistant General Manager, Carrier Solution Division, Chang Heng Wai (pic) points out that this speed to market can be achieved because of the virtualized, on-demand platform created. “Customers can divert resources, add storage, more processing power, network addresses, use any brand of switches, off the shelf servers, firewalls and security all deployed together and tested before hand in our labs to ensure it all interoperates. There is no vendor lockdown and no specialized appliance. They can use the same set of services bought for different types of services and applications. That’s how you keep running cost manageable,” he explains.
Looking ahead, Chong sees the Internet of Things (IoT) space as a promising market for NEC in Malaysia. “Everyone is talking about Smart City but is the connectivity in terms of seamless, fast bandwidth and IP addresses available for us to bring all these smart sensors and devices into operation? He suggests that the inability of operators to provide the interoperability needed to bring so many different devices on to the network and to allocate them IP addresses is a limitation facing the market today. “That’s why there are not that many smart city type deployments, not just in Malaysia, but globally.”
Confident that NEC through its new cloud based virtualized platform can solve this problem, Chong sees a positive revenue impact for the company in delivering these services. “As service providers and 5G technology services take centre stage in the near future, we foresee our SDN/NFV solution to contribute 10 per cent to our carrier solutions revenues for the first year and 30 per cent for the next three years.”