Telco Cloud July Update: Huawei & 5G SA – the start of NFV’s decline?

It’s still all change in the telco cloud space.

This month, the focus has shifted away from hyperscale computing players, back onto traditional network equipment players. Huawei continues to dominate industry news, and we’re hearing about challenger function vendors too. More below.

And look out for our webinar on Open RAN, where we explain what will really happen over the next five years.

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Telco cloud in the news: recent highlights

Big questions for big vendors

This one came up last minute – but we had to include it! Huawei has been completely barred from UK operators’ 5G networks. I’ll leave the geopolitical analysis to others. But undoubtedly it will have a big impact on the network equipment market. More on this soon!

Huawei’s competition are in the news too. Nokia’s share price fell 8% last week when rumours surfaced that Verizon had replaced it with Samsung.

5G SA hype ramping up…

Last month I predicted a flurry of announcements related to 5G SA cores, and I’m pleased to say I was right. We have Mavenir promoting trials with Deutsche Telekom, Verizon with an unspecified vendor (more on that later), and a bunch more rumored.

What’s interesting is the high proportion of less-proven “non-traditional” vendors in these announcements. Will they stick? Let me know what you think!

…and NFV hype winding down

The adoption of 5G SA is the main drive of the continuing trend towards truly cloud native network functions.

NFV remains important to enabling next-gen networks, but we expect to hear less about it. Vendors are already ditching the term – take VMware as an example.

As always, this is just a subset of what’s going on right now – read more on our hub!


Upcoming webinars

Open RAN vs Legacy RAN Architecture

Upcoming webinar: Open RAN – What should telcos do?

Alongside the roll-out of 5G cores and radios, Open RAN has shot up the agenda. In this webinar STL Partners will address the three most important sub-components of Open RAN (open-RAN, vRAN and C-RAN) and how they interact to enable a new, virtualized, less vendor-dominated RAN ecosystem. We’ll cover:

  • Why Open RAN matters – and why it will be about 4G (not 5G) in the short term
  • Data-led overview of existing Open RAN initiatives and challenges
  • Our recommended deployment strategies for operators
  • What the vendors are up to – and how we expect that to change

We will also share data from our recent report, Open RAN: What should telcos do?


Matt Pooley, Telco Cloud Practice Lead & Senior Consultant, STL Partners
David Martin, Associate Senior Analyst, STL Partners

Date: Tuesday, 4th August 2020
Time: 4pm BST

Register for the webinar


Telco cloud articles

Cloud native telecoms: Are CNFs the future?

Matt Pooley explores the claim that “cloud native” is the future of telecoms, disentangling the reality of deployments from marketing spin. What is the promise of cloud native telecoms and how does it differ from the promises of NFV?

Our research shows that cloud native deployments are already starting to happen, but the picture is complicated and there are still some unanswered questions around the same challenges that held back NFV.

Read more


SD-WAN vs MPLS: Will SD-WAN lead to the demise of MPLS?

When SD-WAN first came along, there was a lot of hype surrounding it; many said it was far superior to MPLS and that its rise would lead to the ‘death’ of MPLS. We look at the difference is between the two, and if one is in fact better than the other.

Read more


Analyst Q&A: Opening the RAN market

The Open RAN market is one of the most hyped sectors in mobile – so what’s driving growth and what are the biggest challenges ahead? STL Partners David Martin joins four other top analysts offer their insight.

Our telco cloud hub: recent content

Will open RAN help telcos reduce their physical infrastructure footprint?

Open RAN will have serious consequences for the physical distribution of the mobile network. What strategies are operators adopting and how will this affect operations?

Read more


Who cares about Telco Cloud?

Telco cloud, NFV, SDN… Many dismiss it as over-technical, over-hyped, or just plain boring. Deployments to date haven’t delivered much. Yet it is a fundamental enabler for 5G growth opportunities, so now is the time to get it right.

Read more


Latest NFV News & Announcements

A selection of what we consider to be some of the most exciting recent developments in NFV & SDN, all of which have real potential to transform the current landscape.

Read more


Insights on Virtualisation, NFV & SDN: The current state of telco cloud in the industry

This 24-page document will provide you with a summary of our insights from our virtualisation research and consulting work:

  • Overview of NFV/SDN deployments worldwide
  • Benefits of telco cloud: state of the industry
  • Deployment approaches: implications and challenges
  • How STL Partners can support you

Request the Telco Cloud insights pack