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it - Information Technology

Methods and Applications of Informatics and Information Technology

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Volume 57, Issue 5


Softwarization of telecommunications

The challenges of two innovation cycles

Antonio Manzalini
  • Corresponding author
  • Telecom Italia, Strategy and Innovation – Future Centre, Via Reiss Romoli, 274 Torino, Italy
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Published Online: 2015-10-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/itit-2015-0025


This paper argues that SDN and NFV principles are going to impact not only the evolution of current networks, but also the services and applications platforms. In fact, SDN and NFV, together with Cloud and Edge Computing, can be seen as facets of a broader systemic innovation wave (called softwarization) which is transforming the overall telecommunications and ICT ecosystems. Specifically, the paper proposes the vision of Software Defined Infrastructures (SDI) as highly dynamic and pervasive telecommunications and ICT frameworks of logical resources capable of executing (with a trade-off of centralisation and distribution) any network and service functions. Eventually, it is argued that, in this evolution towards SDI, the border between the networks and the Cloud-Edge Computing platforms will gradually disappear. On the other side, also the distinction between the networks and the future “terminals” (e. g., including machines, smart things, drones, robot) will blur. This transformation will have profound techno-economic implications for the telecommunications and ICT ecosystems, paving the way to the Digital Society and the Digital Economy.

Keywords: Software defined infrastructures; SDN; NFV; cloud and edge computing; softwarization

ACM CCS: Networks

About the article

Antonio Manzalini

Antonio Manzalini received the M. Sc. Degree in Electronic Engineering from the Politecnico of Turin. In '90 he joined CSELT, where he has been working on transport networks. He has been active in several European Projects and Standardization Bodies, taking leading roles in the areas of networks and service platforms. His results have been published in more than 100 papers. He is Chair of the IEEE Initiative on Software Defined Networks. He is Senior Manager at the Strategy and Innovation Department of Telecom Italia.

Telecom Italia, Strategy and Innovation – Future Centre, Via Reiss Romoli, 274 Torino, Italy

Revised: 2015-07-21

Accepted: 2015-07-22

Received: 2015-06-15

Published Online: 2015-10-01

Published in Print: 2015-10-28

Citation Information: it - Information Technology, Volume 57, Issue 5, Pages 321–329, ISSN (Online) 2196-7032, ISSN (Print) 1611-2776, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/itit-2015-0025.

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