Networking hardware is taken for granted at MWC 2017, as new applications and services dominate the event


LightCounting releases a research note on Mobile World Congress 2017



Leading suppliers of networking equipment exhibiting at MWC 2017 focused their messages on the main interest of Communication Service Providers (CSPs) - developing new business opportunities in the Cloud and IoT. Image and video recognition software analyzing data collected by miniature surveillance robots, shown in the photo below, were one of many novelties on display. Network transformation enabled by SDN/NFV was the second hottest topic at the show. Networking hardware, the foundation for all of the above, is increasingly taken for granted.

Source: NEC exhibit at MWC 2017

Ericsson’s new CEO Borje Ekholm summarized this clearly: “Our success is tied with the success of our customers”. CSPs are already in the homes of consumers and the offices of their business customers. They are the best positioned to deliver new services, and increased competition with Internet Content Providers (ICPs) adds new urgency to this transition.

Negative brand recognition is one of the barriers for CSPs in delivering new services. “No matter how much CSPs cut costs, it will never be enough,” commented Alexey Reznikovich, representing VimpelCom, the industry needs to transform itself from a sector whose customers merely tolerate it to one where customers are engaged and satisfied."

LightCounting’s latest report offers an in-depth analysis of the Cloud transformation strategies of CSPs in different regions of the world. It also includes a review of all the latest activities in SDN/NFV and open source hardware.

It may be a compliment to hardware engineers supporting decades of successful innovation, but progress in networking equipment performance is now being taken for granted. The industry assumes that hardware suppliers will be able to deliver solutions on an as-needed basis and meet the targets set for improved performance.

This new view of hardware was reflected in new products and technologies demonstrated by suppliers at the show:

  • Flexhaul (ZTE)
  • Anyhaul (Nokia)
  • Network slicing routers (Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia)
  • Flex Ethernet servers (Huawei)

Open source hardware activities, such as the Telecom Infra Project (TIP), also contribute to the perception that hardware can be redesigned (flexed, sliced and diced) to suit the needs of new Cloud infrastructure and services. Some specialized hardware can even be replaced by a white-box server and a bit of NFV software magic.

LightCounting subscribers can access the full version of the research note at:





LightCounting is a leading optical communications market research company, offering semiannual market updates, forecasts, and state-of-the-industry reports based on its analysis of primary research with dozens of leading module, component, and system vendors as well as service providers and other users. LightCounting is the optical communications market’s first choice source for the accurate, detailed, and relevant information necessary for doing business in today’s highly competitive environment. For more information, visit: or follow us on Twitter at @LightCounting.