Not withstanding the demands of Christmas, illness has laid me low for a while. However, I do have time for a quick blog to set out my network technology predictions for 2019.
So, what will be big in 2019?
Service providers are gearing up for 5G mobile. I would not say that we will see mass deployments, but service providers will move from Proof of Concepts to some controlled pilot installations. There is still some way to go for equipment vendors to release network infrastructure equipment that has the necessary bandwidth as well as the ability to transport synchronization and phase (time of day). We will however see new product in the first half of 2019.
5G will drive demand for small cells. We do have technology available to support these, but we need further investments in fiber infrastructure to ensure we have the appropriate connectivity. All this bodes well for job security and new opportunities in the coming year.
Telecommunications service providers will continue to change the way they procure and operate networks. We will see a reduction in the traditional buy and build methodology. Service providers are putting equipment vendors under pressure to reduce lock-in and offer disaggregated solutions where hardware is whitebox or opensource and the vendor offers software solutions for network functions such as routing and switching. Disaggregation means the growth in API for both configuring and managing equipment. If you have XML and JSON programming skills, then you are better placed then those that rely on traditional CLI skills. You will be in demand.
AI will continue to grow. Automation will start to take over jobs that were traditionally done by humans. Warehousing will lead this trend. We will see evermore automation in the home. AI assistants are becoming the norm for many households. Ever smarter, connected devices will fuel to Internet of Things.
However, you look at these developments, 2019 looks to be an exciting one for anybody in the networking industry. The future is certainly bright.