Virtualization offers several advantages to network operators: they can strategize their selection of equipment and vendors on the basis of value, performance and compatibility, as has already been the case, to build networks based on virtualized service offerings. That may, evolve toward delivery of services on the RAN being offered through Amazon and other cloud service providers. However, where the cloud providers currently need to be concerned about virtualization within captive environments of server facilities tied into fiber optic. The offering of virtualized service over RAN has the much higher degree of variation due to difficulties of the real-world in-site deployment environments.
We are still at early stages of having this move from standards development to growing of networks and markets. The RAN operators will be attempting to quantify their service offerings of the ‘sliced’ virtualized network so that it can be provided to broader markets in a standardized way similar to the ‘container’ virtual servers offered by cloud server providers.
The virtualized RAN unveils opportunities to fashion tailored service level agreements. What pops into my head are things like an operator, Verizon for example, offering a training company to provide secure service for a training event within a company complex – it would not use the company’s own network and, thus, would not have to be as difficult for the training firms client. And the service would be capable of supporting virtual-reality headsets with multiple streams of user-generated content and training video content and game-play content. That general scenario could be extended to medial and other applications.