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Verizon Says NFV and Fiber are the Future

June 10, 2014

At GENBAND Perspectives14, Kyle Malady, who is the vice president of Network and Technology at Verizon, talked about the company’s investments in reliability as well as the rest of the network transformation it is experiencing from legacy to modern-networks. He also took time at the event to talk about the company’s investment in GPON which positions it for future services with FiOS.

He says the company has a lot of copper and it has a hard time maintaining it – it isn’t as reliable or cost-effective as fiber. People think the move to fiber is to be anti-competitive. He says these technologies are old, they don’t scale, and it puts them at a competitive disadvantage to support it. It doesn’t see it as anti-competitive - instead, it sees it as serving customers more effectively.

Malady showed the chart pictured below detailing the decline of wireline users and the growth of wireless.

The company is looking to migrate customers from older technology to newer ones such as low-speed DSL or wireless to the home and then copper throughout the house.

He further explained there isn’t enough spectrum to replace DSL with LTE at the moment.

Continuing on this point, he said the wireless market has shifted dramatically from analog to 3G and now 4G. One point he didn’t make is that wireless is battery-operated and dies after a few years - which pushes customers to upgrade devices. A desk phone could last many decades – routers and modems can go five years as well.

He then showed the lobby of 140 West Street which was flooded – frying all of the company’s equipment and cable in the building during Hurricane Sandy. He said salt; electricity and copper together make bad things happen.

The company then remade lower Manhattan with all fiber. It pulled out enough copper to make three Statues of Liberty and monthly troubles were reduced greatly as a result of the upgrades.

Responding to criticism about copper powering phones while fiber does not, he said the company also has a new product that works with D batteries which will give FiOS 40 hours of power in case of an outage.

Going forward, the company wants satisfaction to be higher and is working to be more competitive and make their global IP traffic more cost-effective for customers.

NFV is being implemented at the company – he has seen similar hype with IMS. He mentioned in the NFV world there will be challenges deciding who to call when something breaks. Having said that, he noted the company is banking on it.

In the future, we can expected LTE-A, next gen wireless, scalability, next-gen PON, more resilient core routers and more innovation. Reliability, performance, technical evolution and growth are the core principles the company will focus on going forward.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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