How network operators can deliver IT resilience in the new normal

CommScope has announced its predictions on how network operators can deliver IT resilience while adapting to the new normal.

“In 2021 and beyond, organizations will adapt to a different economic environment. We’ve already seen accelerated adoption of digital transformation with some instances of ten years of change being implemented in only a few months,” said Ehab Kanary, vice president of Enterprise Infrastructure for the Middle East and Africa, CommScope. “IoT is seen as part of the solution to the cost pressures, especially in industries like healthcare and transportation who are already seeing benefits like patient monitoring using telemetry and automated temperature checking at airports.”

Ehab Kanary, vice president of Enterprise Infrastructure for the Middle East and Africa, CommScope

2021 will see a seismic change in how we work and live. We’re all in the process of adaptation and future-proofing. The network has never played a more fundamental role as we adapt to meet changing requirements. CommScope has outlined trends that will impact the network in 2021.

Cloud migration will accelerate: A report estimates that the Middle East data centre power market to grow at 3% CAGR and reach $3.7 billion by 2025. In the absence of “business as usual,” enterprises and small businesses are moving to the cloud, and this trend will only accelerate in 2021 no matter what happens with the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay-at-home orders and a big drop in on-site retail shopping has prompted a major increase in online sales and significantly impacted data centres. In fact, Visa’s consumer survey revealed that online shopping activity had increased among UAE consumers since the pandemic.

5G rollouts will continue while governments clear additional spectrum: Clearing the spectrum to accommodate more users and data is essential to building a future in which connectivity is truly ubiquitous and accessible for all. Efforts to repurpose or share these bands for next-generation services typically require the active involvement of incumbent users and government regulators, as well as extensive discussions about mitigating the impact to existing services. In the Middle East and Africa, multiple operators have been allocated spectrum within the C-Band including in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, and South Africa.

Fewer people, more important networks: With fewer people in offices and more working remotely, building and campus networks will become even more important in 2021 leading to a blurring of building IT and operational technology (OT) organisations as well as a rise in the cloud. And although network complexity will still be a topic with the increase of new technologies and applications, we see the opportunity for networks to shine as they become more powerful and flexible, helping IT and OT Organisation prepare for what’s next.

The surge in bandwidth continues: The pandemic has played an unprecedented role in the significant, immediate, and global uptick in broadband network traffic— busy-hour average downstream bandwidth grew by up to 25% in just one month’s time. A new emphasis on remote work, virtual education, and video-driven applications for billions of people have created an obvious bandwidth challenge and, for the majority of operators, the biggest challenges have been in the upstream.

Increase in connected homes: Consumers have added even more connected devices to their homes. This continual increase in devices accumulated with most of us still working and schooling from home has shown how important connectivity is to our homes. If you did not believe that Wi-Fi and internet connectivity was a new entry in Maslow’s hierarchy at the physiological needs level (i.e., air and water) before the pandemic hit, then you probably believe it now.