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Virtualisation in the Connectivity Industry

On The Connectivity Matters Podcast we were joined by James Morgan, SVP of sales at DriveNets. James is currently responsible for DriveNets’ growth strategy and leading the company’s European activity. Previously working at Juniper Networks as Head of Global MSP and NAS sales, as well as founding several successful startups, James has over 25 years experience across connectivity. He spoke to us about his perspectives on developments in communication technology.

So what’s your take on the current state of telecommunications?

Well, it’s interesting and dynamic. If you look at telcos and service providers, and where they make their money, there’s a huge ecosystem that’s eating into their profitability. Bandwidth is increasing dramatically, price per bit is decreasing dramatically, and the telcos and the service providers are in the middle of all that. There’s an opportunity for any business today to take advantage of cloud and the almost infinite bandwidth that’s available to really expand their businesses as enterprises. There are definitely challenges that a lot of CEOs and CTOs have, such as hyper scalers moving into their territory. They have to have a frenemy type relationship there, because cloud is the biggest macro trend that we’ve seen in my career. They’ve got over the top players coming in making serious amounts of money using their infrastructure. Whether it’s a consumer or business, if there’s something wrong with the network, it’s seen as the service providers fault, rather than anything else from the myriad of things that affect it. It’s increasingly complex.

The growth rates are not anything like some of those other players that I’ve just touched on. Companies like Juniper and Cisco and Fortinet, who are providing services through service providers in some instances are also partnering with the cloud players and, and so on. It’s all pushing the value of the service provider or telco down. We’re trying to help push back against those forces that are against them. Telcos need to solve these big strategic challenges as they try to digitally transform. Companies that have been around for a long time seem antiquated, even mediaeval in some instances. They’re hanging on to systems, processes and infrastructure that they really need to change and transform.

Moving into the future, are there any particular technologies that you are particularly excited about that are on the horizon?

Yeah, there’s a lot of artificial intelligence, which is a big word. And there’s a lot of artificial intelligence washing that goes on in everything. Everybody’s got an artificial intelligence capability all of a sudden, but I think that when that’s harnessed in collaboration with human beings it has the potential to really transform a lot of areas and do a lot of good. Whether that’s in healthcare, medicine, research or education, there’s some real positives from that perspective. Everything is hyper-connected nowadays. We have infinite access to compute and store and network that creates a combination of all of those aspects, realistically. I still get buzzed off that I can set my alarm on my phone, or my alarm system, or I can see someone ringing the doorbell when I’m down the shops. I think everything’s got a little role to play, but fundamentally the interconnectedness of everything is what excites me. As long as it’s used for the right things, in the right manner.

What impact would you say virtualisation and cloud native software has had in the telecommunications industry?

When you look at telcos and service providers, they’ve got different domains of the network and different areas that I think there’s a lot of benefit to be had from virtualization. I mean, one of the things that I did when I left Intact was actually set up a small startup that was focused on virtualization and using IT infrastructure to pool resources. Fundamentally what that brings, if you look at what’s happened in data centres, the same thing starts to happen in networking and security. Virtualization brings an awful lot of flexibility and an awful lot of power. What we’re seeing is that desire to have a hyperscaling operational model. That’s part of the transition that needs to be happening in the search provider world, if they’re going to compete with hyper scalars, we’ve got to be agile and flexible and have speed when it comes to delivering services and what your customers want. Fundamentally it’s all about business outcomes, and what technology can bring to an organisation with the right vision and desire. It really revolutionises and transforms the way that they can operate.

But again, it’s a journey, right? It’s an evolution rather than a revolution. We’re certainly seeing a lot of virtualization in the open RAM space. There’s definitely virtualization in cloud hyper scalers with regards to value added services, whether that be security services or other types of applications. And again, the telcos are kind of caught in the middle a little bit and need to really harness and define their roles as to exactly what it is that they’re gonna be providing and offering to businesses. Because it’s a hyper connected world, but it’s also hyper competitive.

How do you think that virtualization will affect how we’re building and designing these networks?

I’m right in the heart of it with DriveNets. What virtualization brings operationally is it’s just a completely different transformation from a kind of a very fixed, modular legacy, monolithic type approach. It’s very much a chassis where you’re always limited by the capacity of that particular box. You can knit them together and you can get more scalable, etc. but you’re still dealing with everything box-by-box. What we see with virtualization and the advent of white boxes that are carrier class is the ability to really disaggregate and virtualize the entire network. The entire network effectively acts and as if it’s one router, for example, or one switch will be at a scale of distributed different countries, it doesn’t matter.

There’s a whole raft of operational benefits in terms of the way you manage that; everything down to the logistics runs on one or two different bits of white box software as opposed to five or six different routing boxes to do different functions. When you combine functions to offer a multi service approach the network becomes like a cloud, and that’s the bit that virtualization really brings. Then you can just drop containers into those networks, whether it’s a third party firewall, an edge router, a core router… It’s all interoperable, and it’s truly scalable. You just add more white boxes as you want more scale. The huge demand for capacity, has been driven by the ability of the technology to enable that.

To find out more about James Morgan’s insights on connectivity media, listen to the full episode of The Connectivity Matters Podcast.

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

What technology has had the biggest impact on the connectivity industry?

On the first episode of our newly rebranded The Connectivity Matters Podcast, we were joined by Chris Lennartz, the Vice President of Product Management for mobile services iBASIS. He’s had an incredibly successful career within the telecommunications industry, spanning over the last 20 years with a focus on strategic planning, business development and product management. Chris has also recently been voted number 18 in the top 100 most influential figures in the telco industry. We asked him for his insights on technology in the industry. 

What technologies do you think have had the biggest impact on the industry?

That’s a very simple one, it’s IP, because when I started, nothing was IP. Everything was TDM, everything was circuit switched. When IP came it completely revolutionised not only the cost of the network but the nature of the network and the way that the telecoms network interacted with a lot of different players, because suddenly the internet and telecommunications became one and a lot of new players came in. All the cloud stuff that we’re discussing right now started back in the 90s when the internet was opened up, and that completely revolutionised the telecoms industry. I know it’s been a long time since then, but if you ask me, that has been the biggest disruption and the biggest impact to the industry.

What impact do you think 5G has had and where do you see that progressing?

That’s a comparably disruptive impact. 5G is not only taking IP to a whole new level, it’s an evolution and revolution at the same time. If you look at evolution it’s more bandwidth. 4G already has more bandwidth than 3G, and 5G has more bandwidth than 4G, and that keeps going on and on. The most important thing about 5G in particular is that it revolutionises the way we look at networks. 4G was still a point network, then the whole virtualization thing came around. Now with 5G, you can make virtual networks from end to end spanning multiple networks. Network slicing will become very interesting if you look at specific IoT service providers or enterprises that need specific end-to-end connectivity with the specific quality of service or other parameters that you would normally do with a dedicated network. Now we can do it over the 5G network and just reserve a specific price for that, which makes it very interesting to have really one network that does it all. That will change the way we use the telecoms networks. 

The fourth industrial wave is really building on what 5G can give us. With the advent of private 5G networks, if you look at the predictions for them, it could be hundreds and even thousands of private networks that are being built. For example, it’s logical for airports to have their own network, given the fact that you have so many tourists or travellers in general to transport, all their suitcases to transport, on top of all the logistics and fleet management stuff that you need to do. How great would it be to have a network for yourself to do that? This proliferation of private 5G networks could really give a new boost to the way we automate the industry. 

Is there any tech on the horizons of either 5G or moving even further into the next generations that you’re most excited about in particular?

From a roaming perspective, it’s very exciting. It’s also challenging because on one hand, there will be even more bandwidth, but on the other hand there’s yet another new technology which is coming in. What we did right when LTE came along was go from SS7 signalling to diameter signalling. It was really good for us because at that time, we didn’t have market share, and disruption is always good for the challenger and not good for the leader. At that time, we were challenging the way things were so we took the opportunity to disrupt IP committee signalling, and we made a name for ourselves, and we built a solution earlier than anybody else. That’s why we became number three. 

Now, with 5G, this has happened again. This time we are leaders, which means that it can be a threat and opportunity at the same time. We’re going from diameter signalling to something that is called HTTP to signal, so yet another disruption. There will be a lot of companies that will think ‘hey, wait a minute, what I basically did 10 years ago, we can do now. So let’s do to them what they did to others.’ That’s challenging, but we need to challenge ourselves, it’s also an opportunity for ourselves, right? Because we are still number one, we can still get a lot of market share by doing this game right again, but there’s a lot more disruption this time to 5G than just the signalling changing its name. 

There’s also a lot more interesting use cases in roaming that will make you rethink the way we think about roaming. Today roaming basically means the traffic goes home from the visitor network, and is being handled there by the home operator. That takes 100 milliseconds in some cases, if you have to go from Singapore to Amsterdam, for example. However, if you have a self-driving car, that is simply not acceptable – the traffic can’t go halfway around the globe and then come back because that 100 millisecond is far too long. The latency of 5G for some specific use cases that all have to do with machine to machine or IoT should go down to less than 10 milliseconds. That means that traffic will need to stay in that specific region or in some cases, very close to the base station. That means that you have to start working with MEC on local breakout and applications being run, and very close to the base station. That means a reevaluation of the way we think about roaming. It’s going to be very interesting to see how all of these varieties of uses will need a variety of solutions. The way roaming works will be very different than 10 years ago when there were no devices, but just people going in on a day and using their phone.

To hear more about Chris Lennox’s insights into developments in the connectivity industry, listen to the full Connectivity Matters Podcast episode here. 

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

The future for Rivada Networks and RF Technology

In episode #72 of The Tech That Connects Us, we sat down with Declan Ganley, Founder of Rivada Networks

Declan is a well-known English-born Irish entrepreneur and businessman, and it was great to sit down and pick his brains in this conversation! We unpack everything from his plans for Rivada Networks, through to D&I and attracting talent.  

We hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did recording it. 

What does the future hold for Rivada Networks? 

We’ve done an RFP to procure our satellites. So, we’re going to have contractors build out the satellites, they get to our requirements, design, etc. And we’ll be able to talk more about that soon. But, the RFP is out there, and we’ve got great responses to it.  

We’re very excited that we will be moving to do an RFP to procure launch service at the end of this year. And, we’re adding to the team. So, we’re in Germany this week at an industry show: presenting, recruiting – we are looking to find the very best people in this industry, the best brains, the best talent in this industry, and asking them to come and join us. It’s a phenomenal project.  

You’re not just a cog in the system, you know, we want real entrepreneurs! 

What are your thoughts on RF technologies?  

RF technologies from the ground to space piece – The thing is, you want to use RF to get to your first cell site in space; and then you want to backhaul everything through space, landing it back down again onto the planet, and then backhauling it through subsea cables, terrestrial networks, etc with all the problems that they have, from a security standpoint, from a latency standpoint, etc.  

When it goes to space, we want to keep it in space until we have to land it at its endpoint destination, wherever possible. But RF is not going away. Our RF will be technology, the capabilities around it will improve. And, I think that that yes, certainly that there will be a role for optical links to space itself, I think that will happen.  

Radio’s really good. It’s got much more potential than we’ve extracted from it. Our whole philosophy is that we’ve just scratched the surface in terms of the potential of radio. The reason we haven’t got much more out of it is not that the technology can’t do more. It’s because of regulatory requirements. 

Diversity and Inclusion – how are you going to attract great people? 

I want people that work hard, and who have got a phenomenal work ethic. So, if you haven’t got a good work ethic, don’t call us! If you’re willing to work hard, and you’ve got the talent, we want to hear from you – end of story. We are already a very diverse organisation. But, to be very honest with you, it’s not that we set out to be diverse! We have just searched for people with the right skill sets and attitude.  

A big bias that doesn’t get talked about as much is age, that someone is “very old” – however, we want people on our board who have that experience, otherwise what’s the point? If they haven’t been through the “wars” then we will have to relearn everything.  

So wisdom, experience, all of those things really, really count. And yes, diversity is absolutely essential.  

If you’ve got the work ethic, you’ve got the talent, and you’re willing to stick your neck out and take some risks, we want to hear from you. My dad taught me about empathy about putting your putting yourself in somebody else’s shoes. How would you want to be treated? How would you want a member of your family to be treated in those same circumstances? That’s something that a lot of the world has forgotten. You know, being polite, being open-minded in that regard, and treating people decently is important.  

Listen to the full episode here.

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

The Current State of The Connectivity Market  

In another insightful episode of The Tech That Connects Us podcast, we were joined by Jillian Kaplan, Head of Global Telecom Thought Leadership at Dell Technologies, who shared her impressive career progression as a working mother and perspective on the current state of the connectivity market. 

We’ve highlighted some of the key points below and you can listen to the full episode here. 

How do you see the current state of the market? 

The focus is very much on 5G at the moment. And as we look at 5G, we need to make sure we’re looking closely at the technologies that build 5G. So, the core, the brand, the foundation, the edge. For Dell Technologies, we have hardware that’s very focused on edge use cases and telecommunications use cases, which is extremely important. 

In terms of the state of the market, the focus is on making sure that the investments that are being made can be monetized and on helping CSPs understand how this can be done. So, to his end, building truly open networks is something that’s extremely important and something we’re focused on at Dell. We partner with communication service providers instead of just selling to them, for example. All the while, recognising that going to an enterprise market is different than going to a consumer market. So, that’s the biggest shift I see; this trend towards openness and ensuring things are happening in partnerships. 

What opportunities do you see in creating open networks? 

When we look at vertical use cases, manufacturing is going to be huge. There are opportunities in healthcare as well, and retail. If you think about it, when you think about the jump from 4G to 5G, a lot of people thought 5G was overhyped, because the existing apps didn’t actually need 5G to run on your phone today. But there will be 5G apps built, I don’t think it is overhyped. I think it’s important for consumers to get on the 5G network so that they’re ready for when 5G apps are built. 

For example, autonomous vehicles is a hot topic, even though it’s not happening tomorrow. And it’s important, as consumers, to start building an understanding about the different aspects involved, automation, for example, and question how we can learn about these developments before they roll out. 

How do you think the industry will change in the coming years? 

I’m confident the industry will become more diverse as things progress. One thing I’ve learned form being in the industry for so long, is that, especially in telecommunications companies, people tended to start their careers there and retire there, which isn’t the norm anymore. Although in telecommunications, it’s still not abnormal. 

As these people retire, it’s going to bring a new wave of talent and we’ll start to see more certificate programmes. I’d love to see more communications and 5G and 6G and WiFi 6 certifications out there, bringing a younger generation of people into the industry. I don’t think it has the same coolness factor as cloud technologies amongst young people, but I consider it to be just as cool; we need to help people understand how awesome a career in this industry can be. 

What are some of the factors that can help boost the diversity in the industry? 

Certificate programmes would be amazing because people wouldn’t need to necessarily major in telecommunications. There are a lot of people who have majored in something else but are curious to now learn about the telecommunications industry. 

I’m leading the Grow Talent Stream within the Diversity Council, working on getting more diverse talent interested. And one thing we did at Dell recently was, we hosted a webinar to showcase women who are working within the company who don’t have technical backgrounds, to show that you don’t need to know how to code to work in communications or even high tech. I think it’s really important for everyone to understand that you don’t need to be an engineer to work in tech and telecommunications. 

Click here to listen to the full episode. 

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Connectivity Unleashed – Dan Jeffery at MWC Barcelona

MWC Barcelona had a Connectivity Unleashed theme and provided over 61,000 people to meet face to face for potentially the first time in 3 years. The event saw over 1,900 exhibitors with over 49% of attendees at Director level and above from 124 countries.

Personally, it was my first MWC and I thoroughly enjoyed it even with a face mask. Despite the show’s capacity being around 60% to pre-covid times, it was a positive environment to be in. Also, with less people in attendance it was slightly easier to get from Hall 1 to 5 to 7 for those ill-planned back-to-back meetings!

The technology and information at booths only improved my knowledge and understanding of the market. I’m not a technical expert by any means but it really helped to join the dots of the last 2.5 years I’ve worked at neuco. Whilst I was impressed by the robot making drinks, I found the robot dogs somewhat scary and don’t even get me started on a robotic cat!

The AI telling me I was ‘hairless’ caused some laughs amongst my colleagues and aside from that, it was a pleasure to be in Barcelona with Laurie and Alistair.

Of the 6 key themes, here at neuco we took particular interest in 5G Connect. After over 100 meetings in 3 days between the 3 of us and around 25,000 steps per day each, the weekend was certainly needed to recover!

5G Connect was dominated by the talk on Open RAN with lots happening in the ecosystem. Whether it was existing partnerships being showcased or the opportunity to discuss new ones, collaboration seemed to be key. Several companies were providing demonstrations as an end-to-end solution or showing how powerful collaboration can be with the 5G Open Lab as one example. Rakuten Symphony acquiring was major news for the Symphony sales effort as well as their new agreement with AT&T.

For all the positivity around Open RAN, John Baker, SVP of Business Development at Mavenir, was highly critical of Ericsson and Nokia for creating confusion. Clearly, the likes of Mavenir & Parallel Wireless are disruptors to the market but how much longer can Ericsson or Nokia protect their legacy and delay for?

As we move closer to deployments of more 5G networks, the market only looks to grow for those with 5G use cases or equipment providers on the networks. We’ve seen record sales years for some and whilst there are of course supply chain difficulties, hopefully the next 12-24 months will see further growth.

From a recruitment perspective, the conversations were very positive with ambitious hiring plans across different functions. Whether it was new commercial roles through internal growth or expansion into new verticals/regions, the market seems very buoyant. Of course, I can’t mention recruitment without asking if there’s a software-based company who doesn’t have a need for Software Engineers?

Also, it’s an exciting time for product and presales functions as new services or solutions are being developed and need either taking to market or sold. The demand for the fine balance between a technical understanding but being confident enough to have an external conversation, is only going to increase.

Most importantly from the event, I feel that a barrier was taken down by having face to face conversations and really appreciate the time from everybody I met. Dare I say it, I’m already looking forward to 27 February 2023 for the MWC23!

Connectivity Key Trends. neuco’s annual 2022 key trends report.

What’s in store for the Connectivity industry?

2022, where’s it going to go, what does it have in store?

We’ve collated key trends from some of the influential figures across the 4 sectors we recruit into – Cyber Security, Connectivity, Content & Media and Satellite & NewSpace.

We’ve spoken to experts from companies such as Sky, Orbit Fab, Casa Systems, and A5G Networks.

If you want to find out what we think will be the key trends for cyber security this year, then just click the link below to download now!

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The current state of the connectivity industry

In episode #56 of The Tech That Connects Us, we had the opportunity to sit down with Ollie Anderson, SVP, Americas at Benetel

We had an in-depth conversation about everything connectivity related, from how he got into the industry (after a stint in the military) through to the more intricate details of his role and the current state of the market. 

We hope you enjoy it as much as we did recording it!

Which specific technology do you think has had the biggest impact on our industry?

“In my view, wireless broadband. It’s one of the biggest things and has enabled a lot of the content industry, a lot of the social media, mobile, you know, video distribution to do to handsets, etc. 

So, I think that has been the biggest thing. And now, going into the future, I think we are going to see more of augmented reality, virtual reality applications coming towards the consumers and being used at the industrial enterprise side, all enabled within wireless connectivity.”

How has the pandemic impacted the connectivity from your perspective and the industry?

“The need for connectivity has grown. And people have been realising that we need reliable connectivity. And now, when, when most of the world is working from home, we are using conferencing tools, just like we are today. So, I think the need for connectivity has grown immensely.”

Which region do you see as having the largest growth area between APAC and the Americas?

“So we see a lot of growth in Europe and in Americas at the moment. Both regions are extremely active and roll out 5G and so on. So, America, as far as Europe is a very active place for us.”

What do you anticipate being the big hot topics in the connectivity industry over the next 12 months?

“I think we are going to see a lot of private 5G solutions and deployments being done specifically for private networks, enterprises, industrial networks, and those alike. 

I think that will be clearly a trend. You see a lot of the cloud providers, for example, lining up their 5G solution offerings and bringing that functionality closer to the enterprise.”

If you’d like to listen to the full episode, click here to access it!

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

The 2022 Key Trend for the connectivity industry.

For episode 54 of The Tech That Connects Us we were joined by François Duchêne – VP Wireless Solutions EMEA at Casa Systems.  

Tom Wilding and Alistair Wilson spoke with Francois about OpenRAN, Private networks and 5G, as well as what the future hold for Casa Systems. 

One question they asked Francois was what will be a ‘key trend’ for 2022 in the connectivity industry. 

Here’s what Francois had to say… 

“I will say even more acceleration, not only in terms of the 5G but in terms of the connectivity you get for global IoT. 

The industry is changing in multiple areas. With 5G we are moving to 5G as a standalone to allow the slicing capabilities on everything in their network providing public edge computing. 

We’ll see more private manufacturing in these areas and the global IoT connectivity as we’re seeing more and more connectivity of multiple devices including cars, phones, watches etc. So we’ll see a rise of smart cities allowing all devices to have narrowband IoT connectivity. 

This connectivity needs to be international as well. Because we’re living in a world where everything is moving and these vehicles are travelling all over the world and will need to be connected.” 

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

What does the future hold for the connectivity industry?

Joining John Clifton and Tim Meredith on episode 52 of The Tech That Connects Us was Luis Beute VP Global Sales for Content Providers at Qwilt.

Luis takes us through how he made the jump from telecommunications to CDN and moved halfway around the world to do it too. Focusing on how he has taken as many lessons from colleagues and partners as from managers and mentors, this was a really great insight into Luis and his approach to balancing work and life.

One question we put to Luis was ‘what does the future hold for the connectivity industry?’, read on to find out his answer.

“I haven’t been a good visionary ever, but I’ll do my best. I believe as part of the habits we’re adopting because of COVID now there are many things we want to do from home that we used to do in person that virtual reality can really help with.  

In certain sectors it is already happening, take the real estate, for example, there are companies where you don’t need to visit the premises you are thinking of purchasing, it can all be done via VR. It’s also being adopted in the retail sector to some degree too. 

So VR has some future, but it’s also going to require some infrastructure characteristics that are yet to be widely adopted and that might take some years. 

5G, has already opened some doors but will continue to open more. If you think about it, what did you lack when we were only working with 3G? I’d say you weren’t missing many things. But then when 4G came along you can now watch very good quality videos on mobile for example. I think 5G will do the same, but more from an automation side including low latency.  

One of the applications for 5G I’ve been discussing is connected cars. This will take many years, as there needs to be the technology and the regulation for this. I’ll liken the advance of this technology to when e-commerce first launched, there was a lot of resistance from people to put your credit card number on the internet, so can you imagine sitting in a car without driving it or having somebody you know driving it? 

So a lot of the future advances will come down to the regulations and infrastructure around the applications of these technologies. I believe that this way has no return, I can’t say how long it will take but that’s the way we’re heading as an industry.”

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

What can the connectivity industry and everything associated with being connected learn from its past?

Episode 44 of The Tech That Connects us saw Omae Qaise the Founder and CEO of OQ Technology join Laurie Scott and Tom Wilding to cover 5G, IoT, the evolution of M2M, Albert Einstein & Elon Musk. 

In a moment of reflection, Omar was asked what can the connectivity industry and everything associated with being connected learn from its past? Here’s what he had to say. 

 “One of the biggest lessons learnt is that the model of developing your technology, your hardware and your own ecosystem from scratch which has often been the way with traditional satellite and communication business isn’t the right approach. 

 The problem is, there are still many new space companies and startups going in the same direction. This is a major difference when you look at the mobile telecommunication industry, they’ve been through that phase and nowadays there are standards, you have GSM, LTE or 5G and there are multiple operators, chip vendors, and hardware manufacturers who all follow a standard. You can connect sensors to phones, and phones to operators just by changing a sim card. Could you imagine if all operators used different sized and shaped sim cards? 

 That’s why the satellite industry is expensive. Connectivity specifically is down to the hardware. If we want to change this then we need to tap into the existing ecosystem that everyone understands and uses from North pole to South, from Australia to America to India. That is the mobile technology that our satellites can be used for as cell towers in the sky. Users can connect seamlessly, and they won’t know if they’re connected to a terrestrial network or a facility network. This is a first in the world because mobile chips they’re very cheap, and the connectivity is cheap and that’s because millions of engineering hours have been put into scaling that technology. There is already an ecosystem, with lots of participants and players. 

 If you compare a 4 or 5 dollar cellular chip with a satellite alternative, firstly each satellite operator have their own chips, which start at a few 100 dollars, not including a device! Now imagine if the 5 dollar cellular chip could do the same job as the satellite chip and the terrestrial chip, it’s not something that’s unheard of but it’s yet to be scaled. 

 This is really going to open up a lot of opportunities, allowing access for a lot of users and enable mobility between terrestrial and satellite technologies. That will then funnel into big data of massive machine communication, which is one of the biggest aspects of the 5G revolution.” 

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

The Disruptiveness of Kubernetes.

On Episode 41 of The Tech That Connects Us John Clifton and Dan Jeffery were joined by Subha Shrinivasan Senior Director, Customer Success at

Subha has over 20 years of experience across virtualization, datacenter, and cloud-native technologies. It was a great chance for us to talk about all things Kubernetes and more specifically the future of Kubernetes. 

Here’s what Subha had to say when it comes to Kubernetes. 

“Kubernetes is a very disruptive technology, and it’s going to disrupt two or three major trends we are seeing in the market. The first one is that it’s going to completely disrupt AI and machine learning. AI and machine learning are going to be the heart of every business in a few years from now, there won’t be a business that doesn’t use an AI or machine learning stack.

So, there is not going to be an AI or machine learning stack that is not deployed on Kubernetes, in the future at least 90% of the workloads that are built on EMR will be hosted on Kubernetes. 

Here’s why. See unlike other technology stacks such as AI and machine learning, which are actual services with technology that are constantly changing, it’s not just one application it’s a combination of multiple applications or what we call an application pipeline, that is stitched together to deliver AI or machine learning as a service. You don’t want to be locked into one technology stack, you want to be able to have the flexibility of being able to combine different stacks and adapt them for the use case.

Secondly, the integration with DevOps is going to be extremely critical as there is continuous innovation, development and improvisation going on. Machine learning is like a feedback loop, you derive certain analytics, you pass it back. So, it’s a process of continuous development. If you get locked into one technology stack or one infrastructure that is like this giant gorilla which is difficult to move, then you’re not going to be able to use machine learning efficiently and your results won’t be accurate. Then your predictive analytics will fail.

Kubernetes plays a major role in this because the way it is designed is that it’s very flexible to changes in your deployments. It’s logged into the infrastructure and then nothing is logged and sealed into the infrastructure, so you’re able to continuously move around the pods, you’re able to continuously move around the infrastructure and you’re able to use the same infrastructure and build any application or integrate with the DevOps stack and be able to move in a matter of a few hours or minutes rather than taking days and disrupting existing infrastructure.

My prediction is that there’s not going to be any Amazon stack in the future without coordinators on the platform.”

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