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By: Arpit Joshipura, GM, Networking, Edge & IOT

As we wrap up the second year of living through a global pandemic, I wanted to take a moment to both look ahead to next year, as well as recognize how the open networking and edge industry has shifted over the past year. Read below for a list of what we can expect in 2022, as well as a brief “report card” on where my industry predictions from last year landed.

  1. Dis-aggregation will enter the “Re-aggregation” phase (in terms of software, organizations, and industries) This will be enabled by Super Blueprints (which bring end- to- end open source projects together), and we’ll see more multi-org collaboration (e.g., Standards Bodies, Alliances and Foundations) re-aggregating to solve common problems. Edge computing will serve as the glue that binds common IoT frameworks together across vertical industries.
  2. Realists and Visionaries will fight it out for dollars and productivity Given that what started as a pandemic could become endemic, there will be an internal tussle between Realists (making money off of 4G), Engineers currently coding 5G,  and Visionaries looking to 6G and beyond. (In other words, the cycle continues).
  3.  Security will emerge as the key differentiator in Open source Collaboration among governments and other global organizations against “bad actors” will penetrate geopolitical walls to bring a global ecosystem together, via open source.
  4. Market Analysts will reinvent themselves There is no longer a clear way to track Cloud, Telecom, Enterprise and other markets individually. There is a big market realignment in progress,  with new killer use cases (such as X and Y).
  5. Seamless Vertical industries will emerge Enabled by Open Source Software — many vertical industries will not even know (or care) how the pipe traverses across their last mile to central cloud and edges (led by Manufacturing, Retail, Energy, Healthcare & Automotive).

What did I miss? I would love to have your comments on LinkedIn.

Now let’s take a look at where my predictions from last year actually landed…

See my 2021 predictions from last year: https://www.lfnetworking.org/blog/2020/12/15/predictions-2021-networking-edge/

Hindsight 2021

Prediction 1:Telecom & Cloud ‘Plumbing’ based on 5G Open Source will drive accelerated investments from top markets (Government, Manufacturing, and Enterprises) 

Grade: A Where we netted out: Great stories on end user deployment and momentum (Deutsche Telekom, AT&T, Orange, Bell, China Mobile, Verizon, DARPA WorldBank, Walmart…. plus cloud players like Google, Microsoft, and top global Network vendors). 

Prediction 2: The Last piece of the “open” puzzle will fall in place: Radio Access Network (RAN)

Grade: B Where we netted out:  The puzzle has fallen into place,  but with many pieces (e.g., ORAN SC, OpenRAN, SD-RAN, Open in the name of RAN). RAN and packet core continue to be the focus in an Open World.

Prediction 3: “Remote Work” will continue to be the greatest positive distraction, especially within the open source community

Grade: A+ Where we netted out: Spot on!  >200% growth in Commits across LF Networking and LF Edge. 

Prediction 4: “Futures” (aka bells and whistle features & future-looking capabilities) will give way to “functioning blueprints”  

Grade: A Where we netted out: The US DoD is now banking on Open Source for security reasons; 5G Super Blue Print is the fastest growing initiative in Open Source; Akraino has 25+ deployed blueprints; and more. At the end of the day, open source has moved from classroom theory to in- field practical code.

Prediction 5: AI/ML technologies become mainstream 

Grade: B Where we netted out: Still not there. While Intent based has been incorporated into open source, common frameworks are still fragmented. Deployments are specific to carriers, countries, and enterprises.

About the Author: Arpit Joshipura is General Manager, Networking, Edge & IoT, the Linux Foundation.