Last week, I graded myself on the predictions I made for 2015. This week, I’ll make my predictions for 2016. I did OK for 2015, so I’m going to use the Magic 8 ball phone app to help me again.
NFV: My first prediction is that we’ll see someone claim that they have implemented an NFV network. Given that 2015 was the year of NFV hype, it’s inevitable someone will make this claim. However, this will be hard to do in reality since VNFs are under development today, and even the ones that are finished in 2016 wouldn’t be able to yield a full NFV network. The VNFs would all need to work with the same MANO layer given MANO standards are still evolving. There’s just too much to get done in 2016. 2017, yes, I think true NFV will be achieved, but not in 2016. Just look at this picture of an NFV network. Hard to believe that can all happen in 2016.
5G: We will not see any actual 5G specs in 2016. Some may say I’m taking an easy class here. Others will say “HOW CAN THIS BE?” since they read so much about this. I say I’ve been around too long and know the 3GPP can’t move this fast, even if they wanted to. I think we’ll see claims and proof of concepts and all that. Just be careful.
Public Switched Telephone Network (PTSN): The PSTN sunset got a lot of airplay in 2013 and 2014, with minimal commentary in 2015. I think we’ll see some of this issue again in 2016. All I know is, I was in Hurricane Sandy and my kitchen phone was the only thing that worked after the smartphone batteries dried up, after the cable was knocked out for days, etc. If we’re ready, we’re ready, but I don’t think everyone knows how not ready we are.
Internet of Things (IoT): IoT is going to explode in 2016, even more than 2015. Just from a perspective of marketing hype. I think I’m going to fall under the weight of the marketing messages at Mobile World Congress 2016.
WebRTC: I also feel compelled to make some WebRTC predictions. WebRTC, to me, is not living up to the hype about revolutionizing the industry. I think it is steadily moving ahead, as I know we have customers with actual deployments, but I don’t see the stampede. I feel like 2016 will be more of the same with WebRTC. It’s going to be important, deployments will happen, applications will use it, but they’ll also use other technologies.