5 Key Themes & Takeaways from #MetroConnect2018

Last week, Connected2Fiber headed to Miami for the Metro Connect 2018 conference, hosted by Capacity Media. Metro Connect brings many of the top telecom industry leaders together in one space to network, collaborate, and forecast where fiber and connectivity are headed.

This year boasted top attendance, with more than 600 senior-level industry attendees and 250 different companies represented.

The conversations had at this event were especially poignant, as the networking industry navigates major enterprise trends such as digital transformation, cloud computing, virtualization, and more – all of which are putting immense pressure on the industry. This is because all of these increasingly business critical technologies are entirely dependent on fast, reliable network connections and accessibility.

Questions Facing the Networking Industry

To address these trends, and establish what the network industry needs to ensure success with future deployments, the conference was largely based around four overarching questions.

  • What is the future of the metro market?
  • What new technologies does the industry need to prepare for?
  • What will be the role of fiber and cable during this transition?
  • What is needed for a successful deployment of 5G by 2020?

These questions guided much of the discussion at the Metro Connect for how network providers must change their current processes, and invest in new technology to prepare for 5G, as well as provide competitive services to enterprises in the digital age.

5 Key Themes and Takeaways from Metro Connect

Based on these questions, discussions, and various keynotes given by industry leaders and CEOs, there were five key themes that emerged at Metro Connect that will guide the coming years in the connectivity space.

  1. Delivering to the EdgeAt the keynote session titled “The Future of Connectivity in the Age of Streaming Video and IoT, Jack Waters, CTO at Zayo noted that 25 years ago, we could not have foreseen that “there would now be more devices than people.” The IoT was a major topic of conversation at the conference, as the number of connected devices continues to grow from its current 28 billion. These devices demand reliable connectivity, as well as increased bandwidth capabilities, and will become increasingly important as connected campuses, hospitals, and businesses become the norm. Network providers need to be considering how they enable every device and connect it to the content at the edge serving all of markets.
  2. Catering to EnterprisesEnterprise technology is changing rapidly, which means that in order to provide complete solutions to customers, network providers must be changing as well. Two key topics that came up when discussing how to enhance networks for enterprises were bandwidth and SD-WAN. Enterprises are using more bandwidth than ever, and therefore are often turning to SD-WAN to increase the success of virtualization and newly adopted digital solutions. As a result, network providers are assessing how they are going to shift to appeal to the enterprise, and what services they will start to provide to keep up with new demands.
  3. Making 5G Possible5G wireless is being heralded as the next big thing in technology for both business and consumers. Many telecommunications companies are building out plans to launch 5G programs in the coming years. Successful deployment of 5G promises increased bandwidth, faster connections, and lower latency. However, there are many infrastructure hurdles in the way of ubiquitous 5G. Conversations surrounding 5G were largely based on establishing an accurate timeline for 5G rollout based on the infrastructure updates that must occur to make it a success.
  4. Changing InfrastructureEach of these trends, IoT, 5G, SD-WAN, and changing enterprise needs have resulted in an important shift in networking infrastructure in order to accommodate them. Among the most discussed infrastructure changes were the use of dark fiber, small cell, and densification.
  5. Future InvestmentFinally, Metro Connect explored where network providers need to be investing in the coming years, especially the investments that must be made outside of fiber. Industry leaders explored the potential ROI benefits of investing in these new technologies. Connected2Fiber sat down with Alan Burkitt-Gray of Capacity Media to give our perspective on where the networking industry should invest. That is their own digitalization through the adoption of predictive analytics and artificial intelligence to streamline manual sales processes.

Final ThoughtsThe discussions had at this year’s Metro Connect conference were very telling of how the industry must change to adapt to an increasingly digital world. Those who attended came away with a clearer understanding of how to make those changes a reality in a timely, practical way.

Learn how Connected2Fiber prepares the telecom industry to serve digital enterprises.