Please find attached at this link a white paper that IEEE SDN initiative has recently delivered.
It's about a systemic vision on 5G, where SDN, NFV but also Cloud Computing, and its evolution towards Edge and Fog Computing are "technical" pieces of same puzzle (the Softwarization of Telecommunications Systems).
The socio-economic impact of the ongoing transformation will be profound, and 5G is likely to be the first expression. It will address not only ICTE but also several other industries with are "going digital" to be more efficient and optimise costs.
However, this complex transformation can be summarised into three major points:
- "Softwarization" is radically lowering the "threshold" for new Infrastructure Providers to enter the IaaS market. The solutions offered by Standard Hardware Providers will offer the possibility to deploy very low costs infrastructures, as a commodity. It is likely that regional/local Infrastructure Providers (not only Telcos, but also Municipalities, Communities, contiguous markets Service Providers) will proliferate;
- At the same time, there will be a "boom" of application and services (both network-cloud services and Users' applications will share the same paradigm) to be run on the Infrastructures. In fact, Infrastructures will assume the form of extended and distributed "execution" environments: from the Fog Computing resources (up to the terminals) to the Edge-Cloud Computing (Network PoPs, small and medium Data Centers) across converged fixed-radio connectivity. It is likely that Application and Service Developers, Systems Integrator (even of small medium sizes) will proliferate;
- The missing (and most strategic) link will be the "Operating Platforms" allowing the services to be run on the Infrastructures, metaphorically like an OS is allowing an app to be run on a PC. The "Operating Platforms" will ensure the automation of the Infrastructures' operations processes and the service provisioning in such dynamic and complex future scenarios. It is likely that there will be only a very limited number of Providers of "Operating Platforms". It will be at this level where the game local-vs-global will be played.
My take is that the access to these "Operating Platforms" (through IaaS Providers) will be "gate" to a world of services (for production and consumption), and it won't necessarily coincide with the access to the Internet...