New NFV/SDN deployments in North America are increasingly driven by 5G, with a striking role for open source and telco self-builds. Globally, our tracker includes details of nearly 500 NFV/SDN deployments between 2011 and May 2019.
Welcome to the sixth edition of the ‘NFV Deployment Tracker’
This report is the sixth analytical report in the NFV Deployment Tracker series and is intended as an accompaniment to the updated Tracker Excel spreadsheet.
This extended update covers seven months of deployments worldwide, from October 2018 to April 2019. The update also includes an improved spreadsheet format: a more user-friendly, clearer lay-out and a regional toggle in the ‘Aggregate data by region’ worksheet, which provides much quicker access to the data on each region separately.
The present analytical report provides an update on deployments and trends in the North American market (US, Canada and the Caribbean) since the last report focusing on that region (December 2017).
Scope, definitions and importance of the data
We include in the Tracker only verified, live deployments of NFV or SDN technology powering commercial services. The information is taken mainly from public-domain sources, such as press releases by operators or vendors, or reports in reputable trade media. However, a small portion of the data also derives from confidential conversations we have had with telcos. In these instances, the deployments are included in the aggregate, anonymised worksheets in the spreadsheet, but not in the detailed dataset listing deployments by operator and geography, and by vendor where known.
Our definition of a ‘deployment’, including how we break deployments down into their component parts, is provided in the ‘Explanatory notes’ worksheet, in the accompanying Excel document.
The North American market in global context
We have gathered data on 120 live, commercial deployments of NFV and SDN in North America between 2011 and April 2019. These were completed by 33 mainly Tier-One telcos and telco group subsidiaries: 24 based in the US, four in Canada, one Caribbean, three European (Colt, T-Mobile and Vodafone), and one Latin American (América Móvil). The data includes information on 217 known Virtual Network Functions (VNFs), functional sub-components and supporting infrastructure elements that have formed part of these deployments.
This makes North America the third-largest NFV/SDN market worldwide, as is illustrated by the comparison with other regions in the chart below.
Total NFV/SDN deployments by region, 2011 to April 2019
Source: STL Partners
The North American deployments account for around 24% of the global total of 486 live deployments (or 492 deployments counting deployments spanning multiple regions as one deployment for each region). Europe is very marginally ahead on 163 deployments versus 161 for Asia-Pacific: both equating to around 33% of the total.
The NFV Deployment Tracker contains the following data, to May 2019:
- Global aggregate data
- Deployments by primary purpose
- Leading VNFs and functional components
- Leading operators
- Leading vendors
- Leading vendors by primary purpose
- Above data points broken down by region
- North America
- Latin America
- Middle East
- Detailed dataset on individual deployments
Contents of the accompanying analytical report:
- Executive Summary
- Welcome to the sixth edition of the ‘NFV Deployment Tracker’
- Scope, definitions and importance of the data
- Analysis of the North American data set
- The North American market in global context
- SD-WAN and core network functions are the leading categories
- 5G is driving core network virtualisation
- Vendor trends: Open source and operator self-builds outpace vendors
- Operator trends: Verizon and AT&T are the clear leaders
- Conclusion: Slow-down in enterprise platform deployments while 5G provides new impetus