IBM CEO sees operators at openness crossroads

LIVE BY MWC21 BARCELONA: IBM CEO Arvind Krishna (on the picture) insisted that operators be at the crossroads between choosing a closed future and what is open, where they can control their digital transformation and take advantage of new innovations such as hybrid cloud, AI and open technologies.

Krishna also believes that 5G is the fuel for final calculations, and it is important to understand that operators have “huge potential to use the power of 5G and the edge” not only for connectivity but also as a platform for business services.

For example, in manufacturing, 5G-related automated operations can reduce costs and improve the quality of production lines. But to take advantage of this opportunity, he said, operators need to move away from a rigid, highly centralized network architecture to adopt more horizontal platform architectures.

“This is a big undertaking,” as the open hybrid cloud approach is key to seamless management and continuous optimization of the core, radio access and end networks.

As the industry enters the new era of distributed computing, “I believe that the winners in 5G and together will be those who take an open approach to hybrid cloud.” This open approach, he explained, gives operators the flexibility to combine edge, private and public clouds from multiple vendors, and also helps them implement AI and automation on a large scale.

“That’s why telecommunications companies need to adopt open software platforms to stay in control of where and how they have network services, end-to-end calculations and enterprise offerings.”

Krishna said operators around the world are modernizing their core networks to make them more defined to provide a better customer experience, but also to take advantage of the huge opportunity that will come with 5G on the edge.

“This convergence of the 5G edge, hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence are the tectonic forces shaping the future of telecommunications,” he said.