Is telco-cloud a monopoly haze?

The basics of deploying a service in a Telco Cloud, Network Function as-a-Service (NFaaS), are the same as traditional IT Clouds (Platform as-a-Service, or Infrastructure as-a-Service). The customer deploys and runs key elements of its business in a third party environment, technical aspects of the supplier infrastructure are obscured through dedicated APIs and forrmal contracts exists between parties that garanty a certain level of quality, and occasional penalties if agreements are breached.

However fundamental differences need to be addressed to design a NFaaS platform. First of all, the suppliers (ISP) are in a monopoly situation: as a matter of fact end-users usually have only one internet provider. For this reason, third party actor using their cloud cannot contract with an alternative company to host the vCDN service toward a given end-user if prices or quality are not up to their expectations. Moreover, just like more traditional carrier grade systems like voice, a "five nines" availability is required to keep the service on par with traditional IPTV services. Finally regulatory issues regarding network neutrality need to be addressed if the ISP business expands to bare connectivity provider to enhanced cloud provider.


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