What Innovation Do Telecom Carriers Need Today?

This is a question the Telecom Council of Silicon Valley asks of global carriers every September – and they answer at the TC3 Summit.

The Council is a bridge between entrepreneurs and telecom giants.  It strives to understand the specific technology gaps of the network operators, so they can be clearly communicated to both start-ups and established vendors. Every year, a consolidated report is freely offered to entrepreneurs worldwide, which can help guide them towards possible deals with operators.

The Council reports that draft versions of the carriers’ innovation demands are starting to roll in for this year’s TC3 summit.  Many carriers are seeking solutions in the following areas:

  •          Virtualization, NFV and VNFs, including MANO (Management & Orchestration) solutions
  •          SDN and SON (Self Organizing Networks) solutions
  •          IoT platforms, narrowband solutions
  •          “5G-ready” technologies (in advance of standardized “5G”)
  •          Media integration. Ways of integrating winning content with the network
  •          Solutions for handling Video with aplomb
  •          Big Data and analytics
  •          Digital Transformations, from the core right to the Customer Experience
  •          Shifting focus away from wireless access to SDN
  •          Improving the digital customer experience




Unfortunately for Tier 1 vendors, this does not translate into more revenue, since one of the main goals of virtualization is reduction in the Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) on dedicated hardware solutions. But on the other hand, it does open up the market, allowing new entrants to compete in these newly opened technology gaps. This is good news for entrepreneurs, VCs, and startups.

Editor’s Note: The 9th Annual TC3 Summit in Silicon Valley will take place Sept 28-29, 2016 at the Computer History Museum in Mt. View, CA.  TC3 gathers innovation scouts from global telcos and communication vendors and will introduce over 50 innovation solutions to the telecom/ICT industry.

You can learn more about TC3 carrier road maps, innovations presented, sponsors and start-up vendor demo’s here.

To participate and attend TC3, use our IEEE ComSoc Community reader discount of $200 off: IEEE200 at the Registration web page.

Blog Posts on 2013 TC3 (last one this author attended):