2020 in review and focus on North America: How should telcos do cloud?

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5G is now the main driver of VNF deployment. But can telcos be cloud-native without being hyperscaler-dependent?

This report accompanies the tenth release of STL Partners’ ‘Telco Cloud Tracker’ database. This contains data on deployments of NFV (Network Functions Virtualisation), SDN (Software Defined Networking) and cloud-native network functions (CNFs) in the networks of the leading telcos worldwide. This analytical report focuses on trends in North America, set in global context.

Description

Format: PDF filePages: 39 pagesCharts: 10Author: David MartinPublication Date: April 2021

Table of contents

  • Executive Summary
    • 5G core drives deployments
    • SD-WAN: Telco value moves from the WAN to the edge
    • The industry is facing an existential question: How should telcos do cloud?
    • Conclusion from North America analysis: Can a brownfield MNO be more cloud-native than a greenfield one?
  • Introduction
    • Tenth update of the Telco Cloud Tracker
    • Scope and content of the Tracker
    • SD-WAN in focus
  • 5G is driving deployments – but will it drive business model change?
    • 5G core dominates the scene but is done largely via single-vendor, ‘vertical’ NFV
    • The industry faces an existential question: how should telcos do cloud?
    • Focus on North America: four divergent answers to the existential question
  • SD-WAN: While WAN moves to the cloud, new software-defined value migrates to the edge
    • SD-WAN was one of the success stories of the first phase of SDN / NFV
    • SD-WAN has been largely made in America
    • Changes accelerated by Covid favour SD-WAN vendors over telcos – but telcos retain strengths in key areas
    • Main opportunities currently for telcos in SD-WAN, and challenge from vendors
    • ‘SD’ moves towards the edge, while ‘WAN’ moves to the cloud
  • Conclusion: Can a brownfield MNO be more cloud-native than a greenfield one?

Table of Figures

  • Figure 1: Total deployments by region, 2016 to 2021
  • Figure 2: Deployments by leading network function, 2016 to 2021
  • Figure 3: Total deployments by region, 2016 to 2021
  • Figure 4: Deployments by leading network function, 2016 to 2021
  • Figure 5: VNF and SDN deployments by primary category, North America, 2016 to 2021
  • Figure 6: Seven key enterprise networking challenges addressed by SD-WAN
  • Figure 7: VNF and SDN deployments by primary category, North America, 2016 to 2021
  • Figure 8: New SD-WAN services launched or announced by North American telcos in 2020
  • Figure 9: Opportunities for telcos in SD-WAN
  • Figure 10: Underlay and overlay services

Keywords: Cloud, 5G, CNF, deployments, nfv, SDN, telco cloud, telcos, Virtualisation, DISH, edge compute, hyperscalers, NSA, open RAN, SD-WAN, vendors, VNF, vRAN

Companies & technologies covered: AT&T, AWS, T-Mobile, Verizon, VMware

Note: that the Excel dataset is not included with this product. To purchase access to this dataset get in touch at contact@stlpartners.com.