IoT, 5G, edge computing and AI showed they were maturing as technologies at MWC 2018, but it’s harder to see yet how the first three make much money for telcos. AI has a different problem: the field is developing so fast that best practice is changing all the time. In this report we outline what we found, and a pragmatic approach for telcos to successfully harness these technologies and create value beyond connectivity.
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.
NFV/SDN is one factor driving radical change in telco business models. This report explores the three archetypal telco NFV/SDN implementation strategies that we’ve found in the market, and the different telco business models each will result in.
With Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC), telcos can move workloads and applications closer to customers, potentially enhancing experiences and enabling a plethora of new use cases. But with competition looming from other players, telcos need to start commercialising MEC. We have identified and modelled five viable telco business models.
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.
Facebook set up the Telecom Infra Project in 2016 to drive open source standards in core telecoms hardware and network operations. In this report we examine the implications of this project for telcos and other industry players, and recommend how they should respond.
The big prize in enterprise managed services today is supporting industries’ digital transformation. With the growing ‘softwarisation’ of networking, this creates more impetus for vendors to compete with telcos as part of a shifting ecosystem. But does vendor software risk cannibalising the telco network?
MEC (Mobile / Multi-Access Edge Computing) puts compute resources at the edge of telco networks. These servers can be used for distributing internal network functions – typically linked with NFV deployments – or made available to third-party developers as part of an “edge cloud” service offering. What are the realistic use cases, and can telcos monetise them?
Changing telcos’ systems from a legacy to a virtualised model is a bit like building an autonomous car from a moving steam locomotive. In this report, we look at the relationship between NFV (Network Functions Virtualization) and OSS (Operations Support Systems), and the difficulties that operators and the developer community are facing in migrating from legacy OSS to NFV-based methods for delivering and managing communications services.
The early high hopes for SDN and NFV have given way to the realization that the road to cloud-telco ‘heaven’ is strewn with ‘infernal’ rocks and pitfalls. We present the “devil’s advocate’s” (i.e. an extremely sceptical) view of NFV set out in eight indictments. We then examine the argument for the defence.
Metrics are an integral component of telcos’ digital and overall transformation. But what metrics are telcos using, and what metrics should they use, to measure the progress and success of their transformation initiatives? STL Partners has looked at metrics in use by three of the most advanced telcos in the world, including AT&T and Telstra, and identified the 20 that matter most.
‘Network as a Service’ (NaaS) and ‘enterprise virtual CPE’ (vCPE) are the leading customer-facing applications in which NFV and SDN approaches are being applied. This report looks at 13 leading operators in North America, Europe and Asia, what they are doing, and what strategies are emerging.
STL Partners explores in detail how thirteen leading operators are addressing NFV and SDN. By exploring each management team’s vision for the technology and the current implementation activities, we have been able to identify six segments – from dynamic ‘NFV Business Model Transformation Pioneers’ to more prosaic ‘Utilitarian Adopters’. The report also outlines three major ‘best-practice’ recommendations for other players.
Software-Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WANs) have catapulted to prominence in the enterprise networking world in the last 12 months, driven by the growth of demand for access to cloud applications, and businesses’ desire to control WAN costs and complexity. SD-WAN may be a new “intermediary” layer in the network which has the potential to disrupt telcos’ enterprise aspirations, particularly given that it is dominated by vendors and specialist providers rather than telcos. SD-WAN may reduce operators’ MPLS and WAN services revenues and could potentially restrict future NFV/SDN opportunities. But SD-WAN also offers opportunities, where it is embraced – tactically – as part of operators’ enterprise portfolios.
Our latest analysis identifies seven key barriers that have slowed NFV roll out across six operators (Deutsche Telekom, NTT, Verizon, Vodafone, Swisscom and Comcast), and the approaches being used to overcome them.
Becoming a Telco Cloud Service Provider (TCSP) is a new vision for the future of telecoms operators, which promises hugely improved agility, a fundamentally new business model, new services, and new growth. What is this vision, how would it work, and how can it overcome the barriers to change that have thwarted most previous efforts?
To date, discussions of the benefits to telcos of NFV and SDN have mainly focused on reducing operating and capital costs, while the impact on future telco revenues has been somewhat sketchy. In order to fill this gap, this report outlines a comprehensive set of potential new “telco cloud” services, and forecasts associated revenue growth.