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Colt Technologies 2019 Predictions: Five CSP developments that will make a difference

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2019.  Read them in this 11th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Carl Grivner, Chief Executive Officer of Colt Technology Services

2019: Five CSP developments that will make a difference

The telecom and IT market is entering a period of unprecedented intensity. New technologies such as SDN/NFV are coming online but are yet to really prove their worth. 5G is much discussed but the fact is that implementation is yet down the line, and in the meantime, handling backhaul capacity for the data explosion could cause headaches.

In the data center, enterprises are working hard to migrate data and begin to realize the full value of their investments, but that value will only be increased by enabling better connectivity that responds to the dynamic nature of the cloud. And of course, it all needs to be achieved securely, with cyberattacks becoming almost inevitable, enterprises are racing to become more secure, and CSPs are a security backbone they can lean on.

All of this adds up to increasing pressure on CSPs to outperform and compete as never before.

My predictions for 2019 are all about competition between CSPs, new innovations from SDN/NFV, 5G priorities, data center connectivity and network security.

US Communication Service Providers (CSP) market and competition

A rethink by some of the world's biggest corporate organizations will turn up the competitive heat between CSPs as they strive to consolidate or win new large enterprise services business. Blue chip companies are undergoing some very public digital transformations, to streamline their organizations and the way they interact with customers.

The B2C model for this, seen elsewhere in retail firms, is now reflecting into the consumerization of the B2B sector across all verticals. CSPs who can meet the knock-on demands placed on them by their customers' customers, for nearer real-time services, better connectivity to datacenters and better commercial terms, will have the upper hand.


The adoption bell-curve of SDN/NFV technology, incorporating uCPE, will revolutionize the way CSPs interact with their customers as we predict a move from early adopters to early majority in 2019.

Proof of Concepts (PoCs) are in the advanced stage, and all CSPs understand the importance of software to really answer the demand from enterprise customers for greater control over services, which need to become near real-time. 2019 will be the year when trial partnerships, pilots and limited rollouts will need to become wider network realities.


5G will enable connectivity for billions more devices, all of which will generate data and that needs to be processed and stored somewhere. This will place significant strain on the backhaul networks which need to be able to deal with the increase in traffic and to do so at extremely low latency.

5G, much like 4G, will also enable new forms of content for consumers to stream and this in turn will also drive demand for cloud connectivity. From a consumer perspective this process is completely wireless, however we know there is no such thing as a wireless network, so key partnerships between fiber providers and mobile networks will be the only way to make 5G a reality.

Data center

Enterprise data management and business analysis, as Big Data becomes the most valuable asset, now depends on public- private- or hybrid-cloud infrastructure. As firms figure out their initial data migration and then data access, backup, storage and disaster recovery strategies, their investments are only as good as the networks that connect them to the datacenter.

As these data center strategies are considered, enterprises will also be dependent on connectivity that matches and fulfills their unique data center access needs. 2019 will be the year where CSPs are pressurized in WAN to up their game to provide the peaks and troughs of demand using near real-time dynamic bandwidth that's tailored to the moment.

Network security

Improved network security will become absolutely critical in 2019, as enterprises deal with the reality that, in terms of their own internal networks and assets, an attack is statistically inevitable and securing their perimeter should be strategically augmented with new data protection, encryption, access control and SIEM technology.

Recent high-profile issues, including Marriott's data breach that exposed up to 500 million customer records and the significant breach at Equifax underline that cybersecurity needs immediate attention, especially in the government and financial sectors.

Organizations must understand their risk profile, the type of attackers and the techniques used to compromise businesses. Enterprises need to take a layered approach when applying controls across their organisation. This means controls in the network, servers, applications, processes and people.

The next logical step is to lock-in the value of investments in next-gen enterprise systems by ensuring that their CSP networks are also hyper-secure, in order to complete the security risk chain.


About the Author


Carl Grivner was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Colt in January 2016. He joined Colt having spent 3 years in Singapore as CEO at Pacnet, directing the global strategy of one of Asia's leading end-to-end communications service providers.

Prior to that, Carl was CEO of XO Communications, a US network provider, for eight years where he played a key role in transforming the business from a local exchange carrier to a national carrier.

Carl has held several executive level positions in the telecommunications and information technology industry including Chief Executive Officer of Cable & Wireless plc (Western Hemisphere) where he headed the North American operations. He also held various senior management positions in Ameritech and IBM.

He brings over 25 years of international executive and leadership experience including 12 years' operating at the level of Chief Executive Officer at major telecommunications companies in North and Central America, Europe and Asia.

Published Wednesday, January 16, 2019 7:23 AM by David Marshall
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