Mike Powell is the Vice President of Service Delivery, EMEA, Asia-Pacific, India and USA in Cable&Wireless Worldwide. Based in the Singapore office, Mr Powell is responsible for running the Global Services Business, focusing on driving customer satisfaction and delivering service quality and consistency for all Cable&Wireless’ Worldwide customers. In this role, he is directly responsible for driving service delivery transformation across all geographies around the world. As a member of the senior management team, he manages the teams responsible for pre-sales, service delivery, service management and project management.
Mr Powell’s career in IT spans over 19 years, during which he has worked in key positions in the Banking & Finance and IT Industry. Prior to joining C&W, Mike was Senior Director, Business Services Optimisation division, CA (formerly Computer Associates). He has also been instrumental in the establishment, growth and management of pre-sales teams, professional services organisations and customer support functions for three multinational companies across Asia Pacific - Onyx Software, FileNet (IBM) and Microsoft Enterprise Services.
Mike Powell is a Commerce graduate.
The appetite for gadgets in the Asia-Pacific area is driving up data traffic, both mobile and ‘tethered’, and carriers have no choice but to look for lower cost backhaul solutions. Metro-Ethernet and Microwave Ethernet have emerged as cost effective solutions that are faster than TDM and hybrid backhaul technologies and highly reliable. They also have important advantages, such as simplicity, familiarity, and most of all – flexible scalability, even in small incremental steps. Metro and Microwave Ethernet are now set to be the technology of choice for the future backhaul.
In Asian countries such as Singapore, which is growing exponentially as a financial and wealth management hub, the majority of consumers have both a work desktop and a personal laptop. Coupled with the ferocious Asian appetite for all things “gadget” (i.e. the latest tablet is a must-have), there will inevitably be a demand for the most efficient networks to facilitate the growth of communications technology. Therefore, when it comes to the debate between mobile phones and PCs in the technology stakes, we must remember that they are, in fact, both dependent on services that use technologies such as Ethernet.
Ethernet is forging ahead and promises significant growth opportunities for the telecoms industry. Global Ethernet services are projected to reach US$40 billion by 2014, growing at a 17 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) according to a recent Network World article (Nan Chen 29.06.2011 kl 16:45 | Network World).
Another study by Infonetics Research shows that service providers around the globe have increased their Ethernet services revenue by 20 per cent in 2010 over 2009, with Asia Pacific making up the biggest share of Ethernet services revenue at more than a third of the global total. Asia Pacific will continue as the leading region at least through 2015, led by China, India and Southeast Asia.
PCs and the demand for global networks
Few remember that it took many years for Ethernet to “win” the local area network (LAN) protocol wars, yet with the possible exception of IP, no other protocol has done more to progress how data networks move traffic, power enterprises and the usage of PCst. As computing needs grew more complex and bandwidth-intensive in the 1980s and 1990s, enterprises have increasingly turned to Ethernet to deliver efficient, high-speed, and cost-effective data network services within their LANs.
The demand to expand networks beyond tight geographic boundaries saw Ethernet grow beyond the confines of LANs out into campus area networks (CANs) and metropolitan area networks (MANs). Over the last few years, progressive companies have begun demanding that their service providers offer these services over wide area networks (WANs). It is not a surprise, therefore, that as today’s enterprises expand globally, they look to Ethernet to supply its traditional benefits of scalability, ease of use, and efficient use of bandwidth throughout the entire world.
There are many reasons why Ethernet is the industry standard for networking - in the LAN, and now the WAN:
• Ethernet offers much more efficient bandwidth utilisation. This makes Ethernet particularly valuable across vast stretches of expensive undersea cables.
• The ability to standardise on less expensive router interfaces lowers costs and enables deployment of uniform equipment worldwide.
• Ethernet offers 'pay as you grow' flexibility, allowing businesses to purchase bandwidth incrementally and easily upgrade it as their requirements expand.
• An often overlooked benefit is that of simplicity: internal enterprise support teams welcome Ethernet as a familiar technology that can now be used to link metropolitan, national and global sites.
Once restricted to IP networks, Ethernet is now capable of delivering meshed networks that allow any site on the WAN to communicate with any other site. This meshing feature enables less expensive Business Continuity Planning (BCP) and can be important for optimising global voice and video calling. Further enhancements allow for differentiated classes of service (CoS) across the network. This allows a company to prioritise critical data services such as VoIP (Voice over IP) or SAP (System & Application Programming) based transactions over less important traffic such as Internet browsing.
Beyond just raw network efficiency and easier BCP, Ethernet also makes for more cost effective circuits for intra- and inter-company integration and is now the leading delivery method of choice for algorithmic trading services. Leading edge network service providers are now leveraging Ethernet to facilitate External-Network to Network Interconnections (E-NNIs). These private Ethernet exchanges let the two providers efficiently extend their respective Ethernet footprints across the world with limited expense. 100-gigabyte Ethernet is now being deployed across special, high-demand links. Inevitably, this will become commonplace as GigE and 10GigE links today.
As global organisations naturally migrate towards next-generation Ethernet services, these firms will employ global Ethernet with the peace of mind that this future-proof solution can facilitate the transition to all-packet networks with truly global scalability and lower total cost of ownership (TCO).
Another factor driving Ethernet growth is the exponential increase in smartphone uptake. With consumers increasingly surfing the Web through their mobile devices rather than on PCs, service providers worldwide are challenged to find a way to transit from networks built primarily for Voice traffic to one that will support increasingly large volumes of data and video traffic. The rapid surge in data traffic is therefore forcing mobile operators to focus on reducing the cost per bit of transporting data traffic over the backhaul network and into the core network.
As a result, mobile operators are left scrambling for more flexible mobile backhaul solutions as this data surge necessitates a network infrastructure refresh every 18 to 24 months. A new report from Juniper Research has revealed that the world's mobile operators will need to spend a combined US$840 billion over the next five years to upgrade their backhaul networks for the coming data deluge.
Carriers have therefore turned to Ethernet as the medium to cushion the impact of this demand for mobile broadband. Carrier Ethernet is a good option for mobile backhaul technology because it offers an all-IP network for data traffic, which is flexible, scalable (even in small steps) and quickly implemented. Ethernet is also highly adaptable as it can run over copper, fibre optics or microwave media, allowing flexibility of deployment.
Over time, the industry has come to accept that Carrier Ethernet will be the key technology for mobile backhauling as it is the ideal all-IP complement to the growth of LTE networks. Industry analyst Michael Howard of Infonetics Research has concluded that Ethernet is the only solution for next generation mobile backhaul networks. “When you take into account the popularity of iPhone, plus a new wave of competing feature-rich mobile devices, you can see the operators are under pressure to deliver a lot more bandwidth in a highly cost-competitive market. Legacy TDM and ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) backhaul solutions cost too much and don't offer anything to match the scalability and other advantages of Carrier Ethernet” he was quoted saying in India’s Voice and Data magazine.
In a separate report, Richard Webb, directing analyst for microwave at Infonetics Research said that with TDM microwave spending declining significantly every year from here on, as service providers move to packet technology, the overall mobile backhaul equipment market is expected to grow to US$8.2 billion by 2014, based mainly on the strength of Ethernet equipment. Mr Webb also added that with operators increasingly recognising Ethernet-based solutions as the best available means of accommodating backhaul traffic growth, and with microwave products now achieving 1Gbps in some scenarios, the Ethernet-only microwave segment is poised for rapid growth over the next few years, out-performing hybrid TDM/Ethernet solutions.
In conclusion, with the fast-paced evolution of both Mobile phones and PCs, the one true fact remains - there has never been a better time to be a consumer, with so much power at your fingertips, be it either next to your ear or at your desk. The development of the global Ethernet network helps facilitating this evolution, supporting ever-increasing communications demand in future.