Malaysians are prime digital adopters. In the past year, the country saw the largest increase in mobile data consumption among all Asean countries, according to insights from OpenSignal.
In just one month, consumption went up by 14.6% in March 2020, which then throttled to 30.7% the following month. The growing demand for faster internet speeds and greater connectivity is escalating even today, indicating a lasting trend for years to come. This begs the question: Are our nation's network infrastructure able to keep up with this mounting demand?
5G alone is not enough
5G has made a lasting impression among consumers and enterprises, promising transformation in how we conduct business and our everyday lives. To enable the high-speed connectivity that 5G technology promises, constant upgrades to the network infrastructure is needed.
Network service providers, however, are focusing on keeping up with the exploding network traffic, flat revenues and high operating expenses over the past two years - all of which are inadvertently inhibiting these providers' ability to adapt to changing market dynamics.
This move has sent ripples down to the private consumer market. Problems such as network congestion, bad latency and long lead times have sent customers to greener pastures. According to a February report by Juniper Networks, 95% of customers do not bother expressing their bad experiences to their network providers - they simply opt-out and walk away.
The business needs of corporate clients are also shifting, demanding new network requirements. Organisations large and small are racing to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) in their operations to gain a competitive edge, with 75% of Asia-Pacific respondents considering it as their top strategic priority, according to another study by Juniper Networks.
The market has spoken. The future of the Malaysian digital economy relies heavily on established, speedy and secure network connections but service providers are struggling to keep up, resulting in this market gap we currently find ourselves in.
If left unchecked, this may lead to dire consequences, some of which have already surfaced today. According to the same report by OpenSignal, the substantial boost in data usage during the pandemic has been accompanied by noticeably slower 4G download speeds.
Leveraging tech to enable tech
Juniper Networks has pioneered a whole new suite of next-generation products aimed at addressing all of these flaws within the system.
With this in mind, the company has launched the Paragon Automation service, aimed at delivering a secure and AI-driven solution to network providers. It is a modular portfolio of cloud-native applications that automates much of the most demanding 5G and multi-cloud environments.
Traditionally, the customer has to actively alert the network service provider if they have encountered a problem, or actively enquire about a new service that has been added to the network. This process is costly, time-consuming and damaging to the customer's experience.
Juniper Paragon Automation resolves many of these problems through automation. Using a combination of test agents, machine learning and other advanced tools, network providers will know if a service is impaired in real time and can resolve these issues automatically without even the customer noticing it.
Paragon Automation has been built from the ground up, with its visualisation and real-time capabilities integrated into all layers of the network stacks, from segment routing and multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) to network slicing across all network domains.
Furthermore, Paragon Automation plays a central role in Juniper Cloud Metro - an IP transport solution that leverages 5G, Internet of Things and the cloud. In the next few years, metro traffic is expected to grow four times faster than any other segment in the network, highlighting rapid connectivity demand within tightly packed cities.
Traditional metro networks are built to lead traffic into a singular, centralised core. This architecture will not be able to keep up with such heavy demand. Instead, Juniper Cloud Metro will leverage newly distributed 5G and edge services, pushing nearly a third of all workload to edge clouds, freeing up resources and boosting connectivity.
The Cloud Metro is built for resource-pooling, networking slicing, and leverages automated cloud-based operations, most of which are existing solutions within the Juniper Networks ecosystem. It integrates both physical and virtual network functions, to provide faster and more reliable distribution services closer to the end-user intelligently.
A smoother transition
With Juniper Networks' approach to experience-first networking, businesses and enterprises can implement complex strategies and systems with ease while ensuring a smooth transition.
Take, for example, Juniper Networks' partnership with Australia's network provider 5G Networks, which relies on Juniper Networks' MX Series Universal Routing Platform to enable its 100Gbps core networks. Its intelligent systems power the transport of massive amounts of data at high speeds and low latency, supporting a sizeable chunk of Australia's digital economy.
Security is never a compromise either. This year, Juniper Networks has consistently introduced new solutions to automatically profile security threats, generating feeds based on who and what is attacking the network and its intended target.
Combining both Juniper's Cloud Workload Protection and Security Director Cloud, network providers can both actively and passively manage their application workloads while maintaining absolute visibility over the organisation's security conditions anytime and anywhere. These solutions landed Juniper Networks its "AA" rating on CyberRatings.org earlier this year.
Instead of being an obstacle, the pandemic has become a key driver of innovation for Juniper Networks. In a span of a few months, the organisation has deployed massively scalable high-speed, high-performance data centres and IP fabric architectures using its 400G-ready devices. Juniper's Apstra System has also broken down barriers, changing how people think about data centre network operations, thanks to its automation features.
The future of digital connectivity is already here, and Juniper Networks looks forward to playing a supporting role in powering Malaysia's digital economy. Join Juniper Networks on Dec 8 to learn about leading automation use-cases, common gaps, simple paths to immediate improvements, and more! Interested in how to evolve metro networks into a Cloud Metro architecture? Check out this webinar available on demand.
To find out more, visit Juniper Networks' page.