What network challenges does the industry face as we head to the middle of 2018 and beyond?
Traditional ISPs will continue to see a rise in bandwidth demand from consumers ­– both residential and enterprise.  This presents a unique challenge as these traditional broadband providers continue to employ technologies to extend the useful life of their copper. Advancements in DOCSIS 3.1 and G.fast will allow service providers to keep up in the short term, but everyone needs to be thinking about deploying fiber.
What technologies do you see changing / shaping the industry and how?
Network management software technologies will continue to influence the industry as providers move towards modernization. As networks continue to densify and make the shift towards modern software and virtually-controlled networks, operations, and datacenters, the maturity of off-the-shelf technology will help make the industry more comfortable with embracing the shift.  

What broad trends do you see in telecom in the next 12 months?

As demand for more efficient and reliable internet increases in communities everywhere, we can expect service providers to continue to densify their networks and build better software to manage them. Software has continued to evolve to become a more important part of networks; this trend will continue, especially as the industry modernizes.

Another few fascinating broad trends we can expect to see in 2018 include multicloud connectivity, which is likely to expand as the industry develops a better appreciation for its potential; and edge computing, which has yet to exceed or even meet the hype.

What technologies or solutions are inhibiting growth today and how do you see innovation adapting to solve that problem?

Proprietary software and legacy architectures will continue to be more prevalent than they should. Open networking initiatives and programs will begin to gain more traction. Innovation is growing in some of these areas but largely dependent on two things; first of all, organizations must acknowledge that they need to adapt and evolve. And then secondly, they also have to be able to attract and retain talent that’s excited to change the legacy telecom landscape.