GENBAND's Walsh: Countries, cities, hotels could become telecom carriers

GENBAND Chairman David Walsh can see a day when countries become telecommunications carriers, controlling the networks and leasing them out to service providers. In fact, Walsh's vision, as exposited during a keynote address at the Perspectives13 conference in Orlando, sifts down to cities and even hotels.

David Walsh, GENBAND

Walsh (Image source: GENBAND)

"Think about countries as becoming possibly carriers over time," he said, suggesting that rather than sell spectrum and other infrastructure to service providers to run competitive markets, the governments might keep the infrastructure and build out networks that they lease to the service providers.

The new model would generate revenue for the countries or cities by providing connectivity "really anywhere people gather," he said, suggesting that even hotels "are their own little telecommunications carriers."

The notion of national carriers was only one part of a vision that Walsh revealed for what he described as today's "digital life" where "everything's for sale and it's one big exchange."

Some of the changes, he said, are already happening.

"The whole idea of linear content … that's changing. It's not just how we consume it, it's what's going around that content that's changing," he said.

Other ideas, such as countries and cities as carriers, are a bit further out and less certain to happen.

Determining what will happen and what won't, he said, is the challenge facing GENBAND as it continues to grow and morph with the new telecommunications industry. Two areas where he sees a growing need--and where he intends to focus GENBAND resources--are securing the content flowing around the networks and improving the dynamics of data centers.

Security, he said, is an ongoing concern that is growing worse as "we're constantly being compromised" by growing cyber warfare and purposeful sabotage. "This is bad stuff" and today's apps tend to be "open doors for bad people to walk through."

"If we don't have a way to lock down the network, that's the one thing that can take us down," Walsh predicted.

Data centers, he said, are just wasteful when it comes to resource consumption, including the use of water to cool the 24/7 overheated technology that comprises a center.

"They're power hogs, they're water hogs, they're highly inefficient," he said.

GENBAND, Walsh said, found a way to at least begin to conserve some of the water by using a refrigerated system to cool down the electronics that is "75 times more efficient" than current water-based methods. The refrigeration is delivered by a company, Inertech, in which GENBAND invested in anticipation of a future when carriers need "massive facilities to put all their equipment in" and massive resources to keep those resources running efficiently.

All these factors, Walsh emphasized, are part of the new "digital life" where consumers are not just receiving information broadcasts but "we're interacting" with content via intelligent networks and applications.

Show Coverage: GENBAND's Perspectives13: Continuing coverage from Orlando

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