SDN and NFV deployment is growing deeper but not broader: the long tail lags behind the pioneers.
This update to our ‘NFV Deployment Tracker’ series focuses on Asia-Pacific, alongside European and North American data to March 2018. Telcos in developed Asian markets have made a great start, and the region has outstripped Europe and North America in live SDN / NFV deployments – but can NFV scale to Asia as a whole?
This update to our ‘NFV Deployment Tracker’ series focuses on North America, alongside additional European data. 2016/7 has seen the rise of SD-WAN, enabling smaller operators to compete in the WAN market with NFV leaders AT&T, Verizon, Masergy, CenturyLink, etc. By contrast, fewer consumer use cases for NFV have yet been established.
Many telecoms operators see network function virtualisation (NFV) as a core driver of their transformation into more agile and flexible organisations. However, there is less consensus across the industry on the best way to structure virtualisation programmes to achieve this goal.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is more powerful and affordable than ever, and the leading consumer-facing AI platforms – Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon – are in an arms race to bring the technology to smartphones. AI will radically change the way people use smartphones, but what are the implications for data traffic and consumer expectations, and what role should telcos play in this evolution?
STL Partners has compiled a new quarterly-updated tracker service of commercial deployments of NFV and SDN by leading telcos worldwide, providing an Excel database accompanied by an analytical report. The first update, devoted to Europe, found operators and vendors focusing on core network virtualisation and SDN/SD-WAN have so far led the way, as timelines on more systematic transformation programmes have been extended.
5G deployments will need new allocations of radio spectrum, particularly to achieve promised speeds, and target new IoT use-cases. However, the official process for releasing new frequencies is slow and cumbersome. Some countries may short-circuit the process. At the same time, the rationale for new sharing mechanisms, that allow industrial and vertical players to acquire spectrum for their own networks, outside of MNO control, is growing. What should telcos do?
5G was one of the dominant topics at MWC 2016, and a key theme was the push by many infrastructure vendors and chipset manufacturers to bring forward the timeline for development of an early version of 5G. Some leading operators are also stepping up to support this vision. Fortunately, the “early 5G” group’s wish-list is relatively simple: it’s about capacity, cost, and carbon dioxide.