Sapien on NTT

Ovum's Sapien Comments on NTT Com's NFV, SDN News

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  September 24, 2014

NTT (News - Alert) Communications Group recently announced the global availability of NFV- and SDN-based services, offered under the name of Arcstar Universal One. During a midnight press conference from Japan, company management said the Virtela (News - Alert)-powered services – which enable enterprise CIOs to use a portal to configure and pay for new network services on the fly, allowing these businesses to be more agile and potentially save big money – put NTT Communications years ahead of its competitors.

Ovum’s (News - Alert) Mike Sapien commented to INTERNET TELEPHONY about his thoughts on that claim, on the NTT Communications news overall, and on the NFV and SDN space in general.

On NTT Communications’ assertion they are far ahead with NFV and SDN:

“I think they are dreaming if they really think they are ‘many years ahead’ of other service providers. Most service providers are already getting ready to provide IP VPN services using SDN/NFV, and it is only a matter of months and not years. It makes me think of Clearwire/Sprint (News - Alert) announcing they had a two-year lead on 4G services in the U.S. What happened there?”

On what other service providers are doing in this vein:

“Many smaller providers are offering services now (Pacnet, Masergy) similar to these service, but they are not global. But the global players (BT (News - Alert), ATT, Verizon, DT, and Telefonica) are not that far behind with a VPN service like this.”

On what’s powering the NTT Communications service:

“[It’s] interesting that NTT Comms is keeping a lid on the vendors involved [saying that it’s using an] in-house SDN/NFV controller. I find it hard to believe that they are not using some vendors who they just don't want to name. I suspect NEC and Cisco are in the mix somewhere.”

On the customer featured in the NTT Communications announcement of the Arcstar Universal One announcement yesterday:

“Having one Japanese airline customer was good, but it was [a] totally scripted video pitch. It would be more interesting if there were more Virtela customers as the 'trophy' customers.”

On what resonated with him regarding the NTT Communications solution:

“I did like the 'asset-light' theme for the branch office, and [it] does align with my thoughts on [the] future view of [the] network and value-added services that come with SDN/NFV.

On what’s missing:

“They seem to ignore the physical layer issues of local network access and the provisioning time and SLAs … so the service can only be as good as their local network provider management.”

On NTT Communications saying it’s a global service provider:

“I am having hard time seeing NTT Comms as a global player in networking services. They are obviously very strong in Japan, and Virtela was niche VPN provider here in [the] U.S. with a good base of U.S. customers with international requirements (like Masergy). I would not see NTT Comms as a global player, but I know they think they are. Also, Virtela was very small player here, but they were investing in OSS/BSS and portal technology…. [Virtela] is more a niche VPN player that has a potential global carrier funding it now.”

Edited by Maurice Nagle