VNFs on public cloud: Opportunity, not threat

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More telcos are making deals to run their VNFs on the public cloud. Not much is live yet. But cloud hosting of network functions will support telcos in realising the benefits of cloud-native, and we believe telcos can safely go further and faster.


Format: PDF filePages: 27 pagesCharts: 6Author: David MartinPublication Date: February 2022

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction: VNF deployments on the hyperscale cloud are just beginning
    • Numerous collaboration agreements between hyperscalers and leading telcos, but few live VNF deployments to date
    • DISH and AT&T: AWS vs Azure; vendor-supported vs DIY; NaaCP vs net compute
  • Other DIY or vendor-supported best-of-breed players are not hosting VNFs on public cloud
    • Telcos are looking to generate returns from their telco cloud investments and maintain control over their ‘core business’
    • The reluctance to deploy VNFs on the cloud reflects a persistent, legacy concept of the telco
  • But NaaCP will drive more VNF deployments on public cloud, and opportunities for telcos
    • Multiple models for NaaCP present prospects for greater integration of cloud-native networks and public cloud
  • Conclusion: Convergence of network and cloud is inevitable – but not telcos’ defeat
  • Appendix

Table of Figures

  • Figure 1: Five business models for telco-hyperscaler partnerships
  • Figure 2: Telco and hyperscaler co-operation agreements 2019 – January 2022
  • Figure 3: Five business models for telco-hyperscaler partnerships
  • Figure 4: Major telcos deploying VNFs in the public cloud
  • Figure 5: Telco cloud players without large-scale VNF deployments on public cloud
  • Figure 6: MEC co-operation agreements between telcos and hyperscaler

Companies: AT&T, AWS, Azure, Bell Canada, BT, Deutsche Telekom, DISH, Etisalat, Google Cloud, KDDI, MEC, Microsoft, Optus, Orange, RAN, Singtel, Swisscom, Telefonica, Telenor, Telstra, Verizon, VNF, Vodafone

Keywords: 5G, agile, AT&T, AWS, Azure, Bell Canada, BT, Cloud, cloud platform, cloud-native, CNF, connectivity, core, Deutsche Telekom, developer, edge compute, edge computing, Etisalat, Google Cloud, hosting, hyperscale cloud, Hyperscalers, Innovation, KDDI, MEC, Microsoft Azure, net compute, network, network function virtualisation, network functions, Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV), Optus, Orange, Platform, public cloud, Rakuten, RAN, Singtel, Swisscom, Telco, telco cloud, Telefonica, telenor, Telstra, Verizon, Virtualisation, VNF, Vodafone