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News recap: 2015 global SDN implementations vary

In telecom news, IDT Telecom is the first U.S. carrier to directly connect to Cuba after the FCC approved its Cuba telecom deal; meanwhile a new TechTarget survey found differences in SDN implementations by region.

This week in telecom news, a new TechTarget survey of 2015 global IT priorities found that SDN deployments vary by region, with some regions holding back on the new technology due to a lack of understanding. IDT Telecom became the first U.S. carrier to directly connect long-distance calls to Cuba. The move comes after the White House said carriers could expand services to Cuba as part of an initiative to improve diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba.

More services providers are looking to expand their broadband networks and services by offering 1 Gbps fiber-to-the-home (FTTH), as providers look for ways to improve their revenues to offset declining voice services revenue.

2015 SDN deployments vary by region

According to a new TechTarget survey on 2015 IT priorities, 15% of global respondents plan to implement software-defined networking (SDN) in some capacity this year, while 27% plan to implement some type of network virtualization.

The Asia-Pacific region had the highest percentage of respondents planning to implement SDN and network virtualization, with 21% and 31% respectively. China followed with 17% deploying SDN and 30% implementing network virtualization.

North American results revealed 12% looking to roll out SDN, with 28% working on network virtualization.

Europe had the lowest SDN and network virtualization adoption rates in the survey with 8% ready to implement SDN and 19% looking at network virtualization technologies. In the UK, only 2% of respondents said they were planning to implement SDN in their networks in 2015, according to Computer Weekly. The article cited a lack of understanding of the technology as the reason why organizations are holding off on SDN deployments. 

IDT Telecom first carrier to directly connect to Cuba

Direct long distance calls from the U.S. to Cuba are now possible after the Federal Communications Commission approved IDT Telecom's agreement with Cuba's sole telecom provider ETECSA.

The agreement comes after a White House December announcement in December that U.S. telecom providers could expand their operations to Cuba as part of an initiative to reform U.S.-Cuba relations.

Before the agreement, U.S. carriers could not direct calls to Cuba and required international carriers to complete the connection. IDT Telecom is now handling calls to Cuba and can sell its interconnection service to other U.S. carriers that plan to offer service to Cuba.

A U.S. delegation headed by the State Department Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs' coordinator for international communications and information policy will meet with Cuban leaders in Havana later this month to discuss further expansion.

Assistant Secretary of State Charles Rivkin said U.S. carriers have a lot of interest in expanding their services to Cuba. "This is a potential opportunity for them" he told the Miami Herald. "We're really just beginning the process."

More service providers to offer 1 Gbps FTTH

Service providers are gearing up to increase their 1 Gbps FTTH offerings, according to an Infonetics Research report.

The report projects that 40% of service providers will offer 1 Gbps FTTH by 2017, a significant increase from 15% this year.

"For many service providers, growth in broadband revenue has more than offset the losses from declining voice services," said Jeff Heynen, principal analyst for broadband access and pay TV at Infonetics.

Fixed broadband services have some of the highest margins of any services thanks to the growth of online video services, Heynen said. As a result, providers will continue to invest in their fixed broadband networks to increase speeds for residential and business customers and increase the number of their services, including home automation and home security.

Infonetics found that 66% of broadband subscribers access their networks through copper connections, while 35% of subscribers use fiber connections. Infonetics predicted that "both percentages will move in opposite directions this year."

Half of providers reported having no plans or are unsure if they will deploy fiber to the distribution point or G.fast technology due to the cost of deployment, according to the report.

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Is the cost of deployment the main reason why the SDN implementation so low in Asia-Pacific and China? If not, what is the reason?
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The survey didn't offer reasons why implementations are low, but I would hazard a guess that it's because SDN is still relatively new. Cost could certainly be a factor as well. I think as SDN matures and more products become available, we'll see an uptick in implementation.
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