Marcus Weldon, CTO, Alcatel-Lucent
By Marcus Weldon, Chief Technology Officer, Alcatel-Lucent
Over the past 50 years, innovation has been a key ingredient of telecom industry success. This is true from satellite to optical, and from wireless to all IP communications.
This ongoing innovation typically had a time constant of a decade from one innovation to the next in each domain. However, with the advent of the global Internet and the unprecedented number of innovations in web services and apps, innovation that used to be defined by years, now may take mere months or just days.
What was once fixed is now mobile. And what used to be separated into distinct networks for voice, data and video is now converged and all IP.
So, innovation at ‘web speed’— or to use the Alcatel-Lucent tag line ‘at the speed of ideas’— is key. But what defines innovation? Is a scientific breakthrough an innovation? Is a new wireless radio concept an innovation? What about a new service or app idea? No, not in themselves. They are all inventions, but innovation requires invention and implementation.
In our new ebook, ‘Innovating Innovation’, we explore some cool things from Alcatel-Lucent and Bell Labs that have recently crossed the chasm from invention — an idea in someone’s head — to real implementation — technology that is actually changing the game in a live network. The list includes: the 7950 XRS Core Router family, the lightRadio portfolio, lightRadio Wi-Fi , the 7750 Service Router and optical innovations that take us beyond 100G. These networking innovations are changing the backbone of communications. In addition to networking innovations we focus on application-based innovations including an article on Open APIs and Cloud Computing.
Recently, I predicted 50 years into the future in a blog written to mark the 50th anniversary of Telstar – the first communications satellite. My theme was the digitization, virtualization and socialization of everything. The idea is that communications networks that connect the ‘tablet generation’ to each other and to the cloud will increasingly be the lifeblood of the modern, new digital economy and society. To feed these communications networks we will need an ongoing stream of innovations that will allow the backbone to do more and allow applications and device manufacturers to dream of new ways to connect and interact.