Telco Cloud March Update: What’s coming for Telco Cloud in 2020?

What’s going on in the world of telco cloud? This month was supposed to be Mobile World Congress and as a result there has been a lot of noise.

Our recent work has highlighted the importance of automation and orchestration. With that in mind, I’ve picked out a few of the more interesting announcements. You are welcome to disagree – get in touch!

We also updated our telco cloud hub with a bunch of new articles and content. Take a look.

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What’s coming on telco cloud from STL Partners in 2020?

We have covered telco cloud since 2011. Our philosophy: build the right technology infrastructure, and you will have a platform for innovation and growth.

In recent years, we have worked alongside operators trying to understand the case for NFV, the most available current telco cloud technology. In mid-2018 we span out an NFV research stream.

But NFV is just one tool in a vast arsenal that will help enable change. To reflect this, our research offer is now officially called the Telco Cloud stream.

In 2020, the stream will continue to cover the “why” and “how” of telco cloud technologies – NFV and beyond. But we will focus more heavily than before on how we define and measure success.

Telco cloud in the news: recent highlights

More Rakuten Mobile hype

We have previously discussed Rakuten’s claims about their world-first cloud native network. Now, as they unveil pricing, their CTO claims that ops is “like Wi-Fi. Plug, play and forget”, with vRAN cell sites deployed in 9 minutes – the dream?


VMware going bullish?

VMware’s telco cloud orchestrator is now available. Is it any good? We don’t know, but, at a recent analyst briefing, they exuded confidence. Looking at who they’ve signed up (cf. Deutsche Telekom vRAN collab) you can see why.

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!

Hyperscale telco clouds

We field a lot questions from operators about working with hyperscalers on telco cloud. All evidence suggests that they it as a moneyspinner. Google is latest to muscle into the network edge with their Anthos cloud platform.

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


Upcoming webinars

Figure 4: Total live deployments of telco cloud technology, 2015-2019
Includes NFVi, VNF, SDN deployments running in live production networks, globally

Open RAN – What should telcos do?

Operators have struggled with telco cloud to date. NFV deployments have suffered from a lack of truly ‘cloud-native’ components and approaches, and the industry continues to grapple with the complexities of transformation and building skillsets. Meanwhile, there is a growing urgency to safeguard investments in 5G new radio, which have been justified based on new use-cases which assume extreme sophistication in the network.

In this webinar, we will argue that 5G will only pay if telcos find a way to make telco clouds work. We will look to address the following key questions:

  • Why have telcos struggled to realise the telco cloud promise?
  • What do telcos need to do to unlock the key benefits?
  • Why is now the time for telcos to try again?

We will share learnings from first-hand work with operators and vendors about successful (and less successful) routes to cloud deployment, and suggest that shifting industry dynamics – new partnerships, ecosystems and integrations – mean that now is the time to make it happen.

Join us on January 28 16:00 – 17:00 GMT by following the registration link below:


Register for the webinar


Our telco cloud hub: recent content

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


Telco Cloud: Why it hasn’t delivered, and what must change for 5G

Telco cloud made big promises for the transformation of telecoms. It is a fundamental enabler for 5G and the exciting opportunities ahead. Why hasn’t it delivered yet – and what needs to change?

Read more


What is SD-WAN as a service?

SD-WAN does not have to be delivered in a hardware-centric way. Enter SD-WAN as a Service. SD-WAN as a Service is about applying the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model to SD-WAN

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