I was thinking this Sunday Feb 23 of 12 years ago this same week as the Sochi Winter Olympics close. On Monday morning after the Winter Olympics closed in Salt Lake City as I was out the Salt Lake Airport it was a mass of athletes, reporters and others heading home. I was going was flying to Ontario CA. as part of a team to decide on who was going to stay and how was going to go. I had already read between the tea leaves that I would also be on that list. I was already preparing to find a new job. The Telecommunications Industry was in free fall, I was working for Williams Communications Group and soon they would soon be in bankruptcy.
The 4 months prior to the Salt Lake Olympics it was busy in the Salt Lake POP were I worked then as we busy testing segments of SONET circuits that would be eventually connected to submarine fiber optic cables to Europe and Asia.
At that time there were billions of dollars of Nortel OC-192 transmission equipment all over the country in Optical Amplifier and REGEN sites. Who would have thought that before the end of the first decade that Nortel as a company would not exist anymore.
But the signs of its eventual demise were starting to show even then. The Company I worked had lost Billions and was had in a fire sell for pennies on the dollar as it was with many Fiber Optic networks in was a glut of Fiber Optic Inventory and Co-location space all across the country.
So Salt Lake City has set out for another bid for the Winter Olympics in 2026. Whether Salt Lake gets that Bid or not a question I have is by 2026 what will the Telecommunications industry look like?
SONET will likely be 90% gone from Long haul networks as Optic Ethernet with OAM will have replaced it. What made SONET so popular for many years was the LINE, SECTION and PATH part of the SONET overhead that made troubleshooting of failures over thousands of miles possible. Optical Ethernet has been confined to metro-fiber networks but with QAM it is now feasible to deploy Optical Ethernet. Routers with Optical Ethernet interfaces will be connected directly to the main fiber runs via DWDM couplers with there own Optical amplifiers.
This means there will also no longer be any ISDN Primary Rate DS-1’sand no more Ds3 Muxes. Stratum Clocking will still be around in the form of SyncE,
The term PBX will be something found in a company telecom museum next to the butt set, punch tool and scissors. In 2020 Avaya will end support for the CS-1ooo (the Nortel PBX) I am sure by 2026 the Avaya Red Communication Manager will be gone. There may be in its place and application called Avaya Communication Manager there will probably be diehards that write a CS-1000 application to keep old unistim and h323 phones around.
Cisco ICM using SS7 will be a thing of the past as SIP signalling and other variants will replace it in Contact Center.
Cable TV HFC network will be a thing of the past, Passive Optical Networking with CWDM will be cheaper and widely deployed
What technology will still be around?
The Lineman! This picture was painted in 1948 by Norman Rockwell. I do not think utility poles will be eliminated it is still cheaper than burying optical cable. There will be a few young men putting on climbers and swapping a lashing machine.