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Metaswitch CEO Offers NFV Reality Check, Says Voice Becoming 'Hip Again'

By Paula Bernier May 17, 2016

When it comes to network transformation, some communications service providers are moving ahead at a very respectable clip. But others seem to be stuck in a loop of RFP after RFP.

This is the assessment of Metaswitch Networks CEO Martin Lund, who expressed this sentiment today in an opening keynote at the Metaswitch Forum in Scottsdale, Ariz. (He also talked about how voice is making something of a comeback.)

The CSPs that are stuck relative to network functions virtualization and software-defined networking may have gotten into that situation, he added, because they are confused by all the hype in the marketplace. To escape from that vicious circle and begin moving forward, CSPs need to stop and separate the hype from reality, he suggested. They can do that, he said, by looking at what other CSPs that have been able to transform their networks successfully have done and with whom they are working.

Here Lund noted that more than 20 service providers today are using Metaswitch virtual network functions. Metaswitch, he added, also has the distinction of being among the first vendors named as part of AT&T’s Domain 2.0 effort.

AT&T has been a pioneer on the virtualization front, Lund said. That CSP plans to have 30 percent of its network virtualized by the end of this year and 70 percent of its network virtualized by 2020.

“It’s quite impressive I will say,” Lund commented.

Other companies with which Metaswitch is providing VNFs include AIS, Armstrong, Broadvoice, BT, Clear Rate Communications, CORE Communication, DT, Manx Telecom, optivon, TelAlaska, TeliaSonera, and Telstra, Lund noted.

Lund also spoke briefly about unified communications and new personal digital assistants like Amazon Alexa that allow users to get information and complete tasks simply by speaking commands. Metaswitch’s technology is integrated with Alexa, he added, to enable people to ask Alexa what calls and texts they have received, to compose and send messages, and to set their UC presence settings.

He added that text is hot now, but probably won’t be a few years from now.

“So voice is going to be hip again,” he said.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

Executive Editor, TMC

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