Mavenir ready to prove it is possible to transform mobile network economics

TBR perspective  

Mavenir’s message is resonating with the market, and its reputation among CSPs is strengthening. In a few short years, the upstart vendor has gone from an M&A amalgamation of disparate businesses to a cohesive, relevant vendor that is now being considered alongside incumbent Tier 1 network vendors for projects at leading CSPs worldwide.

Mavenir is a legitimate contender to supply solutions that will comprise the new webscale-like network architecture CSPs are eager to implement to stay competitive and participate in new value creation in the digital era. The vendor’s greenfield play to provide cloud-native solutions is unique and is a key differentiator from incumbent OEMs that continue to push their relatively expensive, inflexible and closed systems. CSPs are intrigued by Mavenir’s virtualization offerings, not only with the low price points and total cost of ownership (TCO), but also with the performance of their systems in trials and now, with vRAN in some select commercial production environments.

TBR believes Mavenir will become one of the leading telecom network vendors in the digital era and will take measurable share from incumbent vendors during the 5G network build cycle, not only in RAN, but also in the mobile core and digital enablement-related platforms. Though Mavenir is a small fish in a sea of goliaths, the company is able to hold its own by trumpeting its software-first mantra as a means of redefining mobile network economics.

Mavenir’s assessment of where the market needs to go is spot on. CSPs must evolve to become more webscale-like in nature, adopting a network architecture that is dynamic, agile and able to support the demands of the digital era as well as new business models that can be scaled and supported at fundamentally different economics compared to the traditional architecture. More of the same will not work anymore, and CSPs must think and act differently to stay relevant and profitable in the digital era. CSPs are intrigued by the claims Mavenir is making pertaining to radically different mobile network economics and there is desire among CSPs to hear from the vendor about how it can deliver on those promises.

TBR believes Mavenir’s biggest, most impactful play is in the RAN space, which is an approximately $40 billion market and is ripe for significant disruption. RAN is the domain that will be the catalyst to transform Mavenir from a relatively small vendor by revenue (around $500 million this year) into a multibillion-dollar global powerhouse.

Mavenir provided a corporate strategy overview and updates on each of its business units at its third annual analyst day. The vendor is well aligned with underlying trends in the telecom industry, particularly network virtualization and open infrastructure. Mavenir now claims to have product offerings across several network infrastructure domains, including RAN, mobile core, IMS (particularly, VoLTE and RCS), Unified Communications & Collaboration (Mobile Business Fabric), network security and digital enablement platforms, such as for private networks, OSS/BSS and mobile advertising (Aquto). The company’s software-first, hardware-agnostic approach is timely as communication service providers (CSP) accelerate their transformations into digital service providers.

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