Mobile and fixed networks have become incredibly complex and capable pieces of infrastructure. From gigabit speeds to single-digit millisecond latencies, from accurate device geolocation to self-repairing software-defined networks – the array of products and services on offer today is impressive.
However, while the technical capabilities are certainly there, we often face a daunting challenge: development and integration of these capabilities into commercial products. The diversity of network suppliers and products, coupled with country-specific peculiarities (topology, regulation, security, etc.), makes it increasingly difficult to create and commercialise services globally in a timely manner.
We frequently need to develop everything from the ground up in each market (sometimes even per network vendor!), even if we want to provide the service under a single commercial proposition and through a common user-facing platform.
In practice, this means huge costs, longer time-to-market and little flexibility to modify, update or scale once deployed. So at Vodafone, we asked what we could do to tackle this issue. The answer? NaaP: ‘Network as a Platform’.