NFV and SDN adoption remains strong despite obstacles

Staff writer
30 Nov 2015

The telecoms industry is entering the early commercial stage for NFV and SDN, and adoption of both technologies among Tier 1 telcos is expected to remain strong, despite significant obstacles related to interoperability and organizational issues.

According to the latest NFV/SDN Telecom Market Landscape report from Technology Business Research, over 50 operators are engaged in trials and controlled implementations of NFV and SDN.

The most attractive business case to date is “network services on demand” delivered to businesses either through customer self-service portals or virtual customer premises equipment. Operators have demonstrated cost savings in provisioning time while increasing customer satisfaction.

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Telecom Asia e-Brief: NFV


TBR says a small group of early-adopter operators will continue to drive NFV and SDN, with the rest of the industry to follow suit in 2018, once NFV and SDN prove cost reductions in delivering network services for high-volume operator networks.

But many key questions remain for operators before NFV and SDN graduate to mainstream adoption. One obstacle: organizational readiness. TBR found that educating employees on new automated operations is critical to operator success. Another challenge is ensuring interoperability across diverse NFV and SDN implementations.

Still, TBR forecasts the NFV and SDN market to grow at a 113.8% CAGR through 2020 to nearly $157 billion globally.

“NFV and SDN spend volume is forecasted to [increase] in 2017, at which time use-cases will be more defined and the cost benefits of using the technologies will be more apparent,” says TBR telecom senior analyst Chris Antlitz. “This will prompt holdout operators to jump on the bandwagon and aggressively pursue transformation with these technologies to avoid getting left behind.”

Operators are testing NFV and SDN by transitioning domains that are relatively easy to convert first, such as routing and switching, optical transport, EPC, and IMS.

This article was first published in Telecom Asia NFV e-Brief

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