Networks for An Infinite Service Future

Prof Peter Cochrane and Prof Mohamed Abdel-Maguid

University of Suffolk, Ipswich, UK


Only 50 years ago network design was dominated by well defined, characterised, and understood services, but the launch of mobile services in the 1980s brought that era of certainty and stability to a rapid close.  Not only where mobile users different in their habits, they discovered TXT!  At almost the same time the internet and dial-up modems were introduced, and these compounded the situation further.  Since that time network designers have been largely guessing as to what services they should accommodate and when.

The real culprits of chaos here are accelerating technologies and the new services they engender.   For example: Facebook did not exist 15 years ago; WhatsApp 10 years ago; Snapchat 8 Years ago; whilst Video/Audio downloading and streaming were not mainstream just 3 years ago.  And waiting in the wings we have the IoT and AI services.  Needless to say; most networks and designers will continue to be wrong footed by the pace of change and we need new designs that are ‘low’, ‘flat’, essentially simple, and devoid of unnecessary protocol and coding.  The dynamic complexity of future demands also has to be offset by new network solutions.