#MWC2018: Red Hat focuses on open source as the building block of the modern telco network

Opening up internal structure; opening up the mentality towards new engineering and operational approaches; and being more open to collaborating in the changing ecosystem are essential enablers of operators' digital transformation, says Santiago Madruga, head of EMEA Telco & ICT at Red Hat
Santiago Madruga: "Pure-play digital companies that are disrupting the telco market have already been using open source to help increase competitiveness and accelerate modernisation. Now, telcos have the opportunity to do the same."
Santiago Madruga: "Pure-play digital companies that are disrupting the telco market have already been using open source to help increase competitiveness and accelerate modernisation. Now, telcos have the opportunity to do the same."

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What are going to be the primary focus areas of your company at the MWC 2018?

This year is set to be the biggest MWC yet for Red Hat. Testament to the strategic role Red Hat is increasingly playing in the telco ecosystem and as a trusted partner for operators and vendors, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst has been chosen to present a keynote on the main stage on Tuesday morning.

The keynote session will look at the digital economy and how operators need to prepare for the future. With the telco industry being disrupted arguably more than any other, as it lays at the heart of our digital society, organizations find themselves in a volatile, uncertain world. Jim will address how they can rethink traditional structures and processes, and instead optimise to be more agile, resilient and innovative. Jim will present a vision of how they can create a more dynamic, open culture and rethink their innovation model.

Red Hat will also be showcasing a number of our technologies supporting telco transformation and we'll bring use cases to life on our stand via demos with some of our partners and customers.  These will focus on enabling innovative services such as IoT, data analytics, machine learning and self-optimising networks, as well as building next generation infrastructure from the core to the edge to embrace NFV, virtual RAN, and more.


What in your opinion is going to be the biggest technology trend of 2018 going forward?

Open source is a key driving force for today's innovation and we believe this trend will continue to gather pace. Open source carries an ethos of contribution, collaboration and agility that is playing a critical role in innovation within and beyond technology today.

As Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst has said, "contribution by contribution, individuals are changing the world, creating disruption, and working to solve problems that have stumped generations. Open innovation is not only present, it also represents our future."

Red Hat is a well known example of an open source leader, but open source is now pervasive. AWS, Netflix, Facebook and many more are already powered by open source;  Google is open-sourcing its machine learning technologies, visionaries like Elon Musk are betting on open source to build artificial intelligence.

Red Hat believes open source is the building block of the modern telco network. But, as big an opportunity as it presents, it also presents some risks and management needs. Red Hat is here to help drive open source innovation and take care of the risks, so that telcos can both consume it and contribute to it in a safe, tested, documented, reliable way.

In your opinion, how can operators be a valuable part of the rapidly evolving ICT ecosystem so that they can monetise new streams as well?

Businesses are increasingly going digital. Services that were previously too expensive or simply not feasible can now be possible with a new wave of software-defined, communications-intensive technologies. Operators are at the heart of the digital value chain, with organisations across industries relying on communications networks and computing power for crucial elements of their services.

To meet these needs, networks should be reliable, elastic, more secure and location-sensitive. They should also be agile to enable the introduction of new services and capabilities more quickly and economically. To enable telcos and ICT companies to play a central role in the digital transformation of the economy, we must help them improve at the network service level.

However, operators' digital transformation will require a cultural shift as well as a technological one. This is already beginning, and can in many ways be described as an opening up. Opening up internal structure; opening up the mentality towards new engineering and operational approaches; and being more open to collaborating in the changing telco ecosystem.

Pure-play digital companies that are disrupting the telco market have already been using open source to help increase competitiveness and accelerate modernisation. Now, telcos have the opportunity to do the same, and we can see their investment in open source across areas including IoT, 5G, SDN and video delivery. A cultural rethink comes as part of this, as telcos look to create the conditions internally to take advantage of the open source and software-defined methodology.

For the best chance of success, digitalisation will be powered by an ecosystem of technologies and partners collaborating to offer better interoperability, performance and functionality. As telcos embrace this mindset of openness and collaboration, together the industry is building the next generation of networks and standards to deliver maximum value to telcos, businesses and the users we serve.


Are there going to be some new launches or partnerships we can expect from your company at MWC 2018?

At MWC this year, exhibiting at stand 2G40, Red Hat will be showcasing our work across a large ecosystem of infrastructure and communications technology partners. You can expect to hear about some fresh collaborations and customer use cases, as well as learn more about ongoing projects. For example, we can share insights on how Red Hat is behind T-System's cloud service, AppAgile; is helping the likes of Orange, Verizon, Three UK and Altice get NFV off the ground; is supporting Swisscom's virtualized TV network; and powering OpenStack for Turkcell, Fastweb and others.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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