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2021 predictions for service provider networks

The pandemic will erase years of resistance by late adopters, social institutions and businesses

By: Hasan Darwish, Regional Sales Manager for Gulf at A10 Networks

2021 predictions for service provider networks

2020 has been a challenging year for the entire world. We predict the pandemic response in 2020 will have a lasting impact on how and where consumers and businesses will use networks services, how service providers will build out their networks and where they will invest in additional capacity.

Here are a few predictions for 2021 for service providers:

Digital Transformation will Accelerate

The pandemic will erase years of resistance by late adopters, social institutions and businesses that previously hadn’t bought into the “digital transformation” argument. Forced to go “online or die” individuals and businesses have learned new skills, overcome technology limitations and forged new business models during 2020. These will continue in 2021 and will accelerate many technology transitions that service providers are conducting.

IPv6 will Finally Overtake IPv4.

Hovering right around 33 per cent for most of the year, according to Google, IPv6 will be used in more than 50 per cent of Google searches globally. Boosted by the growth of 5G devices and networks, and increased pressure on CISOs to upgrade enterprise networks for strong network security, many enterprise and websites will accelerate their eventual conversion to IPv6 in 2021. However, many other ISPs, content providers and retailers, hard-hit by pandemic shutdowns, have web sites that are still IPv4 only and will remain unable to fund a conversion of their IT infrastructure. CGNAT can help extend their investment.

Service Providers Move to the Edge – Faster than Expected

Service providers will have to re-architect their access networks to accommodate the traffic shift from dense urban areas to suburban as work/play/learn at home continues, post-pandemic. Edge computing is forecast by IDC to exceed 50 per cent of new infrastructure deployments by 2023 and identified by nearly all mobile operators as extremely important to future networks.

The Pandemic will have a Lasting Impact on Education – Remote/Online Learning will Continue Post Pandemic.

The abrupt conversion of in-classroom learning to remote during the pandemic will encourage educational institutions to offer online options to traditional in-classroom regularly. This will expand education during illness, during inclement weather and other situations where a more flexible arrangement would be beneficial.

The pandemic will permanently alter lifestyles, and many will not want to return to commutes and less flexible working conditions. Remote work will become a new, acceptable alternative in many industries. Tesla and Oracle’s recent announcements to move corporate headquarters from tech talent-rich Silicon Valley in CA to Texas demonstrate a new trend. This will ultimately impact real estate, mass transportation plans and other social institutions that assume large-scale commutes to a few valuable job destinations. This shift will boost distributed edge networks, cloud services, and wireless that are less dependent upon centralized traffic aggregation. 

That’s it for service providers….but here’s my final prediction:

2021 Prediction: This Year will be so Much Better than 2020, and We will all be so Glad

The COVID-19 vaccine will be hugely effective, and the world will establish an international day of togetherness in 2021.

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1 Comment
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