This past year has been filled with exciting news and advancements for not only FirstLight, but for the telecom industry as a whole. In 2013, the industry saw the reawakening of dark fiber services (In September 2013, ATLANTIC-ACM reported 27% of wholesale buyers surveyed stated that they had purchased dark fiber services and 57% of those buying were expecting to spend more on dark fiber services in the coming year), the advancement of Carrier Ethernet 2.0 and mergers and acquisitions that reshaped the telecom landscape. What will 2014 bring? Here are some of our thoughts on what can be expected in the New Year.

We expect to see the continued penetration and adoption of advanced technologies and applications fueling the big data push. The explosive growth of bandwidth demand has led the industry to an inflection point, in which network operators will need to invest in their networks to remain relevant. With carriers already discussing the possibility of 200G and IEEE expected to ratify 400G by 2017, network operators who are not yet offering 100G capabilities will be upgrading their

Cloud computing is another trend that dominated the headlines in 2013, which we expect to continue in 2014 and beyond. According to various industry experts, we can expect growth in both public and private cloud. IDC has forecasted public IT cloud service to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.5% between 2013 and 2017. This growth represents five times that of the IT industry in its entirety.  Meanwhile, private clouds are expected to take hold with SMBs.

The migration to software-defined networking (SDN) is expected to accelerate in 2014, as a large number of data centers move towards virtualization. Strategy Analytics believes the shift to SDN will take approximately 10 years to complete, however they are seeing operators and vendors focusing on using the control plane with current virtualized resources and legacy resources alike.

Overall, we expect that 2014 will be a year filled with exciting, industry changing developments. Stay tuned to FirstLight’s blog throughout 2014 for the latest industry and company news.  We plan to continue to make “waves” throughout the coming year!