Champions of Disaggregation: Helping telco networks reach their untapped data-driven potential

Richard Jeffares, CEO at Vitrifi

calender icon5 min read

calender icon30 January 2024

Complexity is rife in the telco industry, with more services and connections than ever before. This complexity is fuelled by relentless market forces as competition pushes for more product offerings and service bundles. Regulation and compliance add further layers of requirements, while historically siloed organisational structures create organisational barriers, customer experience inefficiencies and additional cost to serve.

Most sector complexity stems from the constant need to integrate new technologies creating a balancing act of compatibility and innovation. Whilst there is a current of desire to modernise, the industry is hampered by the legacy infrastructure upon which it sits.

Revolution, not Evolution

As a result, the telecommunications landscape is being reshaped by a revolution: disaggregation. Characterised by the separation of hardware and software functionalities, disaggregation is the reworking of traditional telco networks, breaking down monolithic legacy infrastructures and allowing operators to become more agile as customer needs evolve. This approach enables operators a new flexibility to build customised networks, using various components from different vendors, and empowers telco providers to optimise costs, better leverage customer experience data, and pursue new services innovation with greater speed.

Whilst this paradigm shift is already prevalent in the 4G and 5G mobile Radio Access Network (RAN), this approach and influence is set to extend across to the core network, the access edge, and eventually throughout all facets of IP networks and Internet Exchanges (IX). The result of disaggregation will have material economic knock-on effects throughout the entire telco industry, leading to a wave of new innovation and personalised experiences that connect people, businesses, and the future digital economy. Traditional telcos have to transform and now have the opportunity to become agile organisations that are adaptable to customers’ changing needs, much like FinTechs have within the open banking revolution and global financial sector.

Telco Networks of the Future

‘Disaggregated RAN’ has enabled a plethora of new 5G technologies that can be broken-up into modular components and deployed individually across any network, rather than having to introduce a whole new end-to-end closed system, as has historically been the case. This recent economic reality for mobile networks now represents the future of broadband delivery, with the fibre infrastructure sector now poised to exploit a similar digital transformation.

Within the global telco space, industry giants like AT&T and Deutsche Telekom have employed widescale disaggregation across their national infrastructure and core networks to achieve the economic benefits. A network characterised by this new level of cost interoperability will allow broadband operators to choose the most suitable components for their infrastructure, helping to reduce the ongoing cost to serve customers.

Telco disaggregation will also help accelerate innovation cycles for retail brands and operators alike. For example, the advent of generative AI poses one of the most significant challenges to networks today, with essential power and data requirements also having the potential to impact the wider network when integrated into telco stacks. Disaggregation overcomes this challenge by allocating processing power where it is needed at the network edge, which then has further implications for improving energy efficiency as workloads can be optimised and resources only allocated where needed. Disaggregation facilitates all of this without an entire overhaul of infrastructure, saving organisations valuable time and human resources.

Pioneers of the New Telco Ecosystem

At Vitrifi, we stand at the forefront of driving this new era of internet broadband. Our depth of expertise led us to develop an industry relevant platform that supports this transformational change, delivering better networks for individuals, businesses and society at large.

Since 2021, Vitrifi has created a new telco operating system that expresses the entire broadband lifecycle as code, leveraging Vitrifi’s “active multi-cloud”; capability rather than single-point-of-failure legacy telco infrastructure. Our hyperscale platform empowers asset owners and telcos to manage multi-vendor open-access networks, driving improved customer penetration and market economics for either buy-side or sell-side customers.

Vitrifi’s Strategic Impact

For decades, both fixed and mobile operators have been unable to keep pace with surging data demand and rapidly evolving customer requirements, so this industry momentum behind disaggregation now presents an enormous opportunity to reverse this ARPU erosion and failed Telecoms investments. By enabling open access networks that are equipped with secure scalable tools, Vitrifi encourages a more innovative and competitive telco ecosystem, leading to higher quality services that can have a profound impact on both businesses and consumers alike.

Disaggregation is happening, so investors and telco executives need to respond to capitalise on the new economies of scale benefits. Future telcos and operators must now acknowledge they will cease to exist without adequate API-based solutions that can effectively manage disparate technological components required to deliver modern internet services cheaply and reliably. Vitrifi’s revolutionary platform and toolset now fulfils these ambitions for operators – because we are the new champions of disaggregation and disrupters of the entire value chain, helping telco networks reach their untapped data-driven potential.

Read out next blog - The Disaggregation Opportunity: Putting The Customer at the Heart of a Reimagined Telco Ecosystem.