This year was my first TMFLive since it was hosted in Dublin. In my absence the show seemed to have become smaller and less crowded. Surprisingly at the same time the show seemed to have become much more relevant to the needs of the telco. Whilst the show was billed as “Driving the Roadmap to Digital success” in reality the the digital services hype and the desire to compete with the likes of Google were long gone. In its stead there was a strong focus on the real challenges of running operationally efficient network businesses and how telcos collaborate and partner this network with others.

 “Open source isn’t like free candy – it’s like a free puppy!”
– Shahar Steiff PCCW

Opensource and in particular the ONAP project was high on everyone’s agenda at the show. However, the discussion has moved on from OpenSource as a possible ‘free’ magic bullet to how it can form a foundation for agile network businesses and promote iterative and rapid development of alternative standards within a community.

Similarly the real world complexity involved in the virtualisation of networks was being actively discussed; particularly how the benefits of virtualisation requires more than simply replicating physical network functions on more complex virtual infrastructure.

Finally the idea of automation and AI in the network seemed to have moved from the periphery of radio parameter SON to becoming the critical mainstream component of the network.

My sense was that the industry is now looking at addressing the right problems at the heart of their business. This reality was nicely summarised in the post show article in TMF Insight

Image courtesy of jim