Sprint is preparing for the move to virtualization through trials and company transformation -- and it turns out that the latter is the bigger challenge, Gunter Ottendorfer, COO of technology for Sprint, told Telco Transformation on Monday during a demo in Chicago of the company's new LTE-Advanced service called LTE Plus.
"The way we do it is, you need to take people on the journey because it's a journey to a completely different planning and operations process," he said "We need to educate people and that's currently what we are working on."
With that education,
Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) will follow with deployments and fully transition, but Ottendorfer cautions, "There is no need to rush into it. The most important thing currently is to get the team on the journey."
For Sprint, the journey involves creating "lighthouse projects" to rally people from different functions to foster cross-functional work between the network and IT organizations within the company. "That is really important to do," he said. "There is a lot of knowledge in the IT organization so we don't want not to use it."
Ottendorfer didn't have a timeline for transitioning to a virtualized mobile core yet. Instead, he said the timeline would depend on the stability of the solutions and also the ability to do troubleshooting. "That is still one of the big question marks that still needs to be sorted out." (Read more: Sprint Ups the 4G Speed Ante to 230 Mbit/s.)
— Elizabeth Miller Coyne, Managing Editor, Light Reading