At the start of 2023, we were hopeful that the year would be that of 5G SA. In the event, only seven deployments materialised in the first 6 months leaving a staggering 30 in our tracker as “in progress” and to be completed in the second half of 2023. In this report, we discuss how likely it is that these deployments will take place in 2023 or at all and if 5G SA still matters.
In this update, we present a review of telco cloud deployments for the whole of 2022 and discuss trends that will shape the year ahead. Fewer deployments than expected were completed in 2022. The main reason for this was a delay in previously announced 5G Standalone (SA) core roll-outs, for reasons we have analysed elsewhere. However, we expect these deployments to be largely completed in 2023.
Co-operation with hyperscalers can reap rewards – but only if telcos complete the hard work of cloudification first.
In this update, we present data and analysis on progress with deployments of vRAN and open RAN. It is fair to say that open RAN (virtualised AND disaggregated RAN) deployments have not happened at the pace that STL Partners and many others had forecast. In parallel, some very significant deployments and developments are occurring with vRAN (virtualised NOT disaggregated RAN). Is open RAN a networking ideal that is not yet, or never will be, deployed in its purest form?
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.
Telco cloud made big promises for the transformation of telecoms. It is a fundamental enabler for 5G and the exciting opportunities ahead. Why hasn’t it delivered yet – and what needs to change?
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.
NFV (Network Functions Virtualisation) potentially offers operators benefits of up to 80% network opex reduction and significant improvements in agility, and threatens a shake-up of the vendor landscape. What are the challenges to making it happen, and what do telcos and vendors need to do to succeed?