TBR: Telcos accelerate SDN/NFV deployments

Staff writer
12 Jul 2017

Industry deployments of NFV and SDN are aggressively moving forward, with nearly three-quarters of Tier 1 operators having adopted or planning to adopt NFV and SDN this year, according to Technology Business Research.

Mobile core, SD-WAN, service insertion and OSS/BSS are the most advanced in commercial deployment, says TBR’s 1H17 Telecom Software Mediated Networks (NFV/SDN) Customer Adoption study.

According to TBC, operators have identified key benefits of deploying NFV/SDN, including automation, operational cost savings and faster deployment of new applications. Expectations for cost savings through NFV/SDN are aligning in the 30% to 40% vicinity, with hardware identified as the area of highest savings.

Meanwhile, operators are prioritizing revenue-generating use cases, such as SD-WAN, which are shortening the expected time to achieve ROI to two years.

“Operators are focused on deploying software-mediated technologies that enable the introduction of new services to help grow their enterprise services businesses,” TBR telecom analyst Michael Soper said.

A track record of proven deployments were identified as the most important requirement for NFV/SDN suppliers. Consulting and deployment services remain the most important services acquired from vendors, as operators are still early in NFV and SDN adoption.

In terms of market share, Nokia is closing the gap with Ericsson post-Alcatel Lucent acquisition, through which Nokia gained significant exposure to NFV and SDN technology.

TBR’s research also shows Internet of Things (IoT) and digital services are driving NFV and SDN adoption at equal levels, with 5G the third-highest driver. These technologies are driving NFV and SDN because they require the programmability, flexibility and automation afforded by software-mediated solutions, the research firm notes.

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