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Progress report: State of the NFV/SDN telecom market

Insight’s from TBR’s 1Q19 NFV/SDN Telecom Market Landscape

The NFV/SDN ecosystem continues to advance and leading communication service providers (CSPs) are making progress on their NFV/SDN-related initiatives, but full transformation is still years away as industry challenges remain. Join Telecom Senior Analysts Chris Antlitz and Michael Soper for an in-depth review of TBR’s latest report on the NFV/SDN telecom market landscape.

Don’t miss:

  • Examples of how leading CSPs are progressing on their NFV/SDN-related initiatives
  • How NFV and SDN adoption will impact global CSP capex and opex spend through 2022
  • Why 5G will push CSPs to accelerate and broaden their NFV/SDN-related initiatives
  • Which vendors are outperforming in the NFV/SDN space

 

 

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NFV/SDN prepares operators to support 5G-era use cases

Infographic explaining how nfv and sdnwill prepare operators to support 5G-era use casesOperators are under pressure to invest in these technologies

Operators will further adoption of virtualized network solutions by capitalizing on 5G use cases and strengthening security capabilities. Integrating NFV and SDN technologies will enable operators to more effectively support network technologies that will become prevalent in the 5G era, including network slicing and edge computing, which will play a pivotal role in supporting 5G use cases such as advanced Internet of Things (IoT). The flexibility and agility of network slicing will enable operators to remove unnecessary functionality (e.g., sunsetting a noncore service) while launching services on command. Edge computing will allow operators to support 5G use cases that require ultra-low latency, such as augmented reality (AR)/virtual reality (VR).

Operators are under pressure to invest in NFV and SDN to reduce total capex and opex spend as well as introduce new services and stay competitive as they prepare to offer 5G services and search for new network use cases. The flexibility and scalability offered by NFV and SDN is particularly appealing to operator enterprise customers, which are expanding their operations and are undergoing digital transformation initiatives such as utilizing multicloud environments, incorporating IoT solutions, and integrating digital customer service and sales portals. Software-mediated network services are enabling businesses to deploy applications and provide connectivity to new branches more quickly, which is particularly important to customers in verticals that frequently add new locations, such as retail.

The shift to software-defined network architectures is extremely disruptive to the vendor community. Incumbent network vendors are under increasing pressure to move up the network value chain, from hardware to software and software-related services. They are increasingly disrupted by the adoption of white-box hardware and the utilization of ODMs as operators search for avenues to reduce network costs. Deploying white boxes provides significant cost savings for operators as well as greater flexibility by allowing carriers to deploy the most appropriate virtual network functions for their environments without being limited by the constraints of propriety hardware. Though the ODM threat has not manifested in the telecom operator customer segment to the extent it has in the webscale segment, incumbent vendors must remain on alert and attempt to mitigate this threat. TBR believes the best course of action is for vendors to embrace the movement of value in the network from the hardware layer to the software layer. This could include embracing open-source code and layering in proprietary software to differentiate. For most incumbents, scaling quickly through acquisition is preferable.

For more information, contact Senior Analyst Michael Soper at [email protected].

NFV/SDN prepares operators to support 5G era use cases and helps drive network efficiencies

According to TBR’s 3Q18 NFV/SDN Telecom Market Landscape, operators will further adoption of virtualized network solutions by capitalizing on 5G use cases and strengthening security capabilities. Integrating NFV and SDN technologies will enable operators to more effectively support network technologies that will become prevalent in the 5G era, including network slicing and edge computing, which will play a pivotal role in supporting 5G use cases such as advanced Internet of Things (IoT).

Operators are under pressure to invest in NFV and SDN to reduce total capex and opex spend as well as introduce new services and stay competitive as they prepare to offer 5G services and search for new network use cases. The shift to software-defined network architectures is extremely disruptive to the vendor community.

Graph showing total NFV/SDN spend by capex and external opex for 2017 through 2022

Incumbent network vendors are under increasing pressure to move up the network value chain, from hardware to software and software-related services. They are increasingly disrupted by the adoption of white-box hardware and the utilization of ODMs as operators search for avenues to reduce network costs. Deploying white boxes provides significant cost savings for operators as well as greater flexibility by allowing carriers to deploy the most appropriate virtual network functions for their environments without being limited by the constraints of propriety hardware. Though the ODM threat has not manifested in the telecom operator customer segment to the extent it has in the webscale segment, incumbent vendors must remain on alert and attempt to mitigate this threat.

The NFV/SDN Telecom Market Landscape includes key findings, market size, customer adoption, operator positioning and strategies, geographic adoption, vendor positioning and strategies, and acquisition and alliance strategies and opportunities.

For additional information about this research or to arrange a one-on-one analyst briefing, please contact Dan Demers at +1 603.929.1166 or [email protected].

 

Crossing the chasm from a CSP to a DSP

Communication service providers (CSPs) are challenged to transform into digital service providers (DSPs) to remain relevant and be successful in the digital era. This transformation is a monumental undertaking and is a fundamental change in not only the business model, but also the operational and technological aspects of CSPs.

Click here for more information on TBR’s 5G and NFV/SDN publications.

Portfolio and network enhancements showcase Telefonica’s evolution to digital service provider

Telefonica’s (NYSE: TEF) progress in evolving from a traditional communication service provider to a digital service provider was highlighted at the company’s 2018 Industry Analyst & Customer Day. Telefonica’s digital transformation initiatives will yield internal cost savings and increased operational efficiency for the company while enhancing connectivity, scalability and customer experience for consumers and businesses. Telefonica is also expanding its portfolio in emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), big data and advanced Internet of Things (IoT) use cases that will increasingly become a part of businesses’ and consumers’ daily lives over the next decade. However, Telefonica will face difficulties in its journey, including balancing network and technology investments while managing the company’s high debt load, the challenging regulatory environment for telecom companies, and competitive threats from webscales and rival carriers that are also aggressively expanding their digital portfolios.

Operators rely on open source to alleviate integration challenges

Timeline to adoption of NFV and SDN is being delayed from initial projections

The ability to reduce capex will initially be the largest cost benefit realized by adopters of NFV and SDN as software-mediated technologies enable operators to significantly reduce spend on proprietary hardware. Reducing opex will be a longer process as most operators will maintain both legacy and virtualized environments until they are ready to migrate fully to virtualized infrastructure. — Senior Analyst Michael Soper, TBR’s 1Q18 NFV/SDN Telecom Market Landscape

As the telecom industry drives open source for interoperability more operators benefit from NFV and SDN, but incumbent suppliers face significant disruption

HAMPTON, N.H. (April 12, 2018) — According to TBR’s 1Q18 NFV/SDN Telecom Market Landscape, open-source groups will spur NFV and SDN adoption by establishing industry standards that foster interoperability among a broader range of solution providers. Operators are also facilitating NFV and SDN adoption by targeting new hires with relevant skill sets, retraining existing employees and launching internal startups to quickly improve their resource pools. Cost savings is the primary driver for accelerated NFV and SDN adoption, but these benefits will be realized gradually.

“The ability to reduce capex will initially be the largest cost benefit realized by adopters of NFV and SDN as software-mediated technologies enable operators to significantly reduce spend on proprietary hardware,” said TBR Telecom Senior Analyst Michael Soper. “Reducing opex will be a longer process as most operators will maintain both legacy and virtualized environments until they are ready to migrate fully to virtualized infrastructure.”

As operators pursue cost reduction through NFV and SDN, incumbent vendors face numerus threats to their business models and disruption on multiple technology fronts. Industry trends are moving against the vendor community, with incumbent vendors, particularly hardware-centric vendors, poised to struggle the most. Operators globally are focused on significantly reducing the cost of network operations and capex, underscored by a desire to disaggregate the black box and commoditize the hardware layer. White-box-based universal customer premises equipment is the leading application of industry-standard hardware thus far, but operators are targeting additional domains, including the core and edge network.

The NFV/SDN Telecom Market Landscape includes key findings, market size, customer adoption, operator positioning and strategies, geographic adoption, vendor positioning and strategies, and acquisition and alliance strategies and opportunities.

For additional information about this research or to arrange a one-on-one analyst briefing, please contact Dan Demers at +1 603.929.1166 or [email protected].

 

ABOUT TBR

Technology Business Research, Inc. is a leading independent technology market research and consulting firm specializing in the business and financial analyses of hardware, software, professional services, and telecom vendors and operators. Serving a global clientele, TBR provides timely and actionable market research and business intelligence in a format that is uniquely tailored to clients’ needs. Our analysts are available to address client-specific issues further or information needs on an inquiry or proprietary consulting basis.

TBR has been empowering corporate decision makers since 1996. For more information please visit www.tbri.com.