2013 was abuzz with SDN, SON, VoLTE, and WiFi. Even though these technologies are there for quite some time now, they generated far more interest in 2013, than ever. We expect them to bring about some of the biggest disruptions in the communications domain in 2014. Let’s look at what our experts have to say about the future of these technologies.

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Voice over LTE was developed as a standardized way for operators to transmit voice over new data-oriented LTE networks, meaning that voice services can use the higher speeds and quality of service that LTE provides over its 2G and 3G predecessors.

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It’s been a while now since we have been hearing a lot of buzz around software defined networking (SDN). SDN is a new approach to networking in which network control is decoupled from the data forwarding function and is directly programmable. The result is an extremely dynamic, manageable, cost-effective, and adaptable architecture that gives administrators unprecedented programmability, automation, and control, through abstraction of the underlying infrastructure. Implementing SDN via an open standard enables extraordinary agility while reducing service deployment and operational costs. Decoupled control and data planes help us build a centralized control plane that manages large number of data plane equipment, which is spread across network.

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With only four commercial deployments of voice over LTE networks globally – three in Korea and with MetroPCS in the United States – it’s safe to presume that it’s still a relatively nascent technology. But with major operators including AT&T and Verizon Wireless planning to implement VoLTE in 2014 and subsequent years, VoLTE seems to be on the trajectory to become the new de facto standard for voice communications.

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The benefits of software-defined networking(SDN) in operator networks have been well documented and include the simplification of ageing and complex networks as well as ease of customization of the network services. This much is now well understood, but what is less is understood is what can be built and improved when SDN gear is deployed in the network.

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