Whether a high-speed fibre optic network or satellite-based wireless infrastructure communications, network management architecture is a critical function. Over the past decade, the global market for such services has skyrocketed due to a number of factors including significant growth in the sector; the increased need for in-depth visibility at a time of network densification; widespread adoption of Quality of Experience and Quality of Service SLAs; and the emergence of 5G and the Internet of Things with the associated rise of latency-critical devices and services.
Network management systems can be a critical driver of business value in the telecom industry amid technological advancements, facilitating improved customer experience, optimised infrastructure operations and management of threats. Open, extensible and software-driven NMS’ can deliver automation and assurance across an entire network, and lower costs while delivering improved visibility and insight.
The move towards automation raises interesting questions around regulation, while decentralised networks in the blockchain, where there is no central authority, provide an alternative approach for communication service providers. Decentralised networks strive to reduce the level of trust that participants must place in one another and deter their ability to exert control over one another in ways that degrade the functionality of the network. Full transparency is achieved because each member in the network has a copy of the same data in the form of a distributed ledger, eliminating the need for trust.
Blockchain may provide a number of opportunities to the telecoms sector, some related to revenue generation, such as micropayments for over-the-top services, but also network management architecture including improved data reconciliation that can be achieved through decentralised data storage in real-time. By optimising the distribution of resources services can also be provided with better performance and consistency, minimising systemic failures; the lack of centralised control, however, can make tasks like maintenance more challenging, while the focus on security can be at the detriment of network performance.