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Software Platform-Driven Transformation of the Broadband Access Network


Software platforms will soon extend data center computing to the very edge of the service provider network

Within the software platforms, open standard APIs enable unprecedented automation, while deep layers of instrumentation extract data for analysis that drives informed business decisions. Software platforms draw on technologies from the data center, providing state-based operation, self-audit, and self-restart of each modular component, resulting in the elimination of service outages and routine maintenance network downtime.

Revolutionizing the premises gateway

Software platforms will become the service provider’s must-have managed service point-of-presence within the home and office. Subscribers expect Wi-Fi coverage throughout their home and extended living areas, yet construction techniques, the explosion of wireless devices, and the laws of physics often lead to poor coverage and subscriber frustration unfairly directed at the broadband service provider. Indeed, Wi-Fi coverage is nearly synonymous with Internet access in the eyes of most subscribers and poor Wi-Fi performance is the number one call center issue for most service providers – even when the wireless access point is not owned by the service provider. Software platforms within the premises provide the opportunity for insight, automation, and self-optimizing performance that increase customer satisfaction and lower support costs.

Software platforms at the heart of the service provider’s premises gateway will become the service hub and launch pad for value-added applications. The uncontrolled proliferation of IoT devices within the home and business will benefit from centralized aggregation and service management in a similar manner as Wi-Fi devices. The flexibility of software platforms and their ability to host third-party software components enables service providers to offer new services beyond managed connectivity. Gateway-based firewall and malware protection applications can secure the home and service provider network, with assurance that real-time threat monitoring and prevention can be automated and coordinated from a central location. A distributed DoS attack detected anywhere in the network could be mitigated at the premises before harm can be done.

Software platforms will soon extend data center computing to the very edge of the service provider network, with service provider-owned premises systems the sought-after edge computing resource for a host of new applications. On-premises edge computing could extend the capabilities of low-cost IoT sensors by providing local, low latency compute resources, greatly expanding the market for facial recognition security, healthcare monitoring, and other industrial applications. Distributed software platforms will provide the framework and managed infrastructure that delivers new revenue opportunities for service providers.

Conclusion

The traditional business of broadband service providers is under stress, but from adversity comes the opportunity to drive business transformation to provide economic vitality far into the future. Innovative service providers will leverage software platforms to increase service agility and operations efficiency while delivering a framework that enables new revenue streams and structural cost reductions. From the perspective of the broadband subscriber, software platforms will deliver the new must-have triple-play service bundle: unlimited broadband from an always-on wireless connection, service flexibility with full-service analytics-driven customer support, and a gateway to an endless supply of experience-delighting applications.



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