TIA 2011 – A telecom show with a heart of gold

Update: Dell now offers NEBs-certified servers.  Learn more at http://www.dell.com/telco

The future of the telecom world has been shrouded in mystery for me since the breakdown of previous trade shows and the heavy focus on future wireless outshining the wire and fiber world that makes communications possible. With more and more Dell OEM customers falling into the Telecom space, and with partners already offering Dell’s OEM specific solutions into the same markets, I have been doubling down my research into this amazing market. I have a long history dancing around the periphery of the Telecoms, and my father was a very vocal technology innovator in the space during the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. So I thought I knew something about the core technology while knowing very little about the way systems were sold, integrated, and deployed.

Three weeks ago I was in Europe meeting with a large Network Equipment Provider (NEP) in the telecom space and while at Interop 2011 I had several conversations with Service Providers and a couple of smaller NEPs who were reaching into the networking space. When I was invited by a partner to visit TIA 2011 and assist them in the event, I jumped at the opportunity to learn more about the market.

Dell Team and NEI Partner

Infrastructure Focus

TIA 2011 is more of an infrastructure show than a wireless show, picking up the telecom market where CTIA and World Wireless Congress left off. Vendors were showing interfaces, cables, microwave links, installation contracting, converters, power, and core network technologies. I saw complete end to end solutions being demonstrated and individual component providers who can provide one technology with compelling performance, price and/or reliability. The themes on the show floor were about reliability and adoption of newer standards with production gear.

Market Differences

It was clear the end users, the service providers, have reached a size where they can call nearly all of the shots on what is being developed and deployed. If you have a compelling new solution the service provider might ask you to work with a competitor to incorporate it into the solution they are already providing. It is a market where the end solution is more often planned, designed, developed, tested and deployed by the service provider rather than by the solution provider. Any unique IP must be easily licensed if you want to see it deployed or else you may never get a single deal. This is very different from the Enterprise Technology market where the solutions are often defined by the manufacturers and sellers.

Summary

Having attended this show and spoken with many NEPs, both large and small, I am eager to uncover the areas where the unique and compelling solutions Dell OEM Solutions can provide to the Telecom market. Watch us closely because we are making plans to provide solutions which this market is likely to find interesting. We already ship an OEM-Ready R710 with NEBS compliance and DC power as a toe-dip into the Telecom market. Our potential NEPS customers have been working with us so we can understand what they need going forward.

Telecom is an exciting area for our future focus. If you are a NEP or Service Provider and want to learn more about Dell OEM Solutions and what we can bring to your solutions, please contact us here.

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