Telco cloud is more than just a new approach to the network, it is also a fundamental shift in how telcos operate and innovate. As networks become more accessible and instructible, telco cloud enables operators to impart actionable insights and capabilities to meet the needs of applications and customers using it. This is about providing greater value in the Coordination Age.
However, realising this vision comes with challenges and the pathways of getting there can vary significantly. We are committed to working with those who share a vision for the industry that involves greater agility with Telco Cloud as a key foundation of success.Get our free Telco Cloud insights pack
As we have set out in our company manifesto, STL Partners believes that we are entering a new ‘Coordination Age’ in which technological developments will enable governments, enterprises, and consumers to coordinate their activities more effectively than ever before.
The Telco Cloud Deployment Tracker is our comprehensive database of live, commercial deployments of virtualised and cloud native network functions (VNFs and CNFs) and SDN technologies by leading telcos worldwide. It builds on an extensive body of analysis by STL Partners over the past eight years on NFV and SDN strategies, technology and market developments.
This blog post is a short-form version of an in-depth report investigating the different operator strategies to cloud native networking
This article outlines 4 key benefits of three open RAN technologies (vRAN, C-RAN, open-RAN) and evaluates whether these benefits are contingent on operators deploying a fully disaggregated RAN – i.e., “open-RAN”, with an open, disaggregated interface between the BBU and the RRU.
As industry projections suggest that proprietary vRAN provided by traditional vendors will continue to dominate the industry in the near term, this article highlights the key open RAN developments in 2020 and gives an overview of the current state of the industry on deploying open RAN.
The interest in private LTE and 5G networks has skyrocketed. Enterprises who have historically relied upon Wi–Fi connections or public cellular spectrum can now take full control over their systems and optimise their network. With more and more industries looking at the potential value of private cellular, we highlight some of innovative companies set to disrupt the dominance of the traditional players within the ecosystem.
Below, we outline our top 10 tenets in Telco Cloud, sharing our high-level view of where we see the telecoms industry moving and what we believe the future will be.
With the advent of (private) 5G solutions, there is a new alternative to Wi-Fi or private LTE for businesses looking at wireless networking solutions. This article breaks down each technology and compares their various strengths and weaknesses.
Unpicking the claim that “cloud native” is the future of telecoms, disentangling the reality of deployments from marketing spin. What does this mean for NFV?
As the RAN ecosystem evolves, it becomes increasingly difficult to track the different vendor deployments and their individual product offerings. In this article, we highlight ten different companies that offer RAN solutions.
5G is going to enhance the field of AI, but AI can also play a key role in the rollout of 5G itself. This article explores the different types of use cases for AI as applied to telco networks.
The open RAN is an umbrella term for a group of different technologies that telecoms operators hope will break vendor-lock in and lead to a significant reduction in capex and opex for their radio access networks (RANs).?
Open RAN will have serious consequences for the physical distribution of the mobile network. What strategies are operators adopting and how will this affect operations?
A selection of what we consider to be some of the most exciting recent developments in NFV & SDN, all of which have real potential to transform the current landscape.
Telco cloud, NFV, SDN… Many dismiss it as over-technical, over-hyped, or just plain boring. Deployments to date haven’t delivered much. Yet it is a fundamental enabler for 5G growth opportunities, so now is the time to get it right.
Japanese new-entrant operator Rakuten claims to have built a fully-virtualised, cloud-native, multi-vendor network, which is a world’s first. We evaluate the nature of Rakuten’s employment, breaking it down based on what each factor means and the extent to which these claims are true.
Network automation is not new but one area that that is ripe for telecoms operators. We explore the different perspectives and definitions of end-to-end automation and why operators have been prioritising network automation in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
NFV architecture needs to establish the virtualisation of diverse sets of network functions, and encourage the standardisation of NFV by addressing interoperability and enable VNFs to be used in a way that is independent of the vendor supplying them. This article explores the NFV architectural framework established by ETSI
This guide provides an introduction to SD-WAN. Covers use cases, benefits for businesses and the future of the technology
We have been following developments and deployments in the Telco Cloud space for several years. In this article, we highlight fifteen different companies that offer NFV solutions, from traditional Network Equipment Providers to start-ups you may not have heard of.
vRAN, or virtualised radio access network, could be one of the largest drivers for more distributed compute in the next five years. This has significant implications for how and where edge infrastructure will be deployed. There are several considerations edge application providers must take note of.
NFV promised to deliver truly open hardware and software platforms. Yet the space is still dominated by proprietary vendor solutions. We look at the data around this Published: January 2019
SD-WAN brings with it several benefits over a traditional environment. Here, we explore the core benefits of SD-WAN and explain some of the nuance surrounding these.
SD-WAN does not have to be delivered in a hardware-centric way. Enter SD-WAN as a Service. SD-WAN as a Service is about applying the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model to SD-WAN
When SD-WAN first came along, there was a lot of hype surrounding it; many said it was far superior to MPLS and that its rise would lead to the ‘death’ of MPLS. We look at the difference is between the two, and if one is in fact better than the other.
Our research predicts that the most significant and earliest use cases for edge sites will to be support vRAN for opex reduction but also to enable next-generation network services. Private LTE networks are one key example of this, and represent a significant opportunity for operators to create new business models and revenues.
2020 has been a strong year for telco cloud deployments so far, and while deployments in Europe are still dominated by the major players, smaller players are catching up. The main driver of this growth has been deployments of non-standalone 5G cores, used to support either completed or upcoming 5G network launches. We see telco cloud as entering a potentially bigger, second phase, based on cloud-native technology and serving as an integral behaviour of 5G network sand services.
Content and gaming providers face increasing competition to offer users the best quality of experience in the face of increasing demand for fast and high-quality streaming. The COVID-19 environment has put new strains on the network that means it is much more difficult to ensure delivery of content in a way that optimises user experience. There are two key trends emerging in CDN that could address this challenge: edge CDN and vCDN.
Zeetta Networks is providing innovative capabilities in the provision of integrated 5G/Wi-Fi network management solutions, in their active work in the 5G-ENCODE project in manufacturing. We spoke to their CEO and Co-Founder Vassilis Seferidis about the work that Zeetta Networks is doing on network slicing and splicing in the context of enterprise private 5G networks.
Network slicing has been touted as one of the key opportunities enabled by 5G. One that poses a unique proposition – the ability to run multiple logical end-to-end networks on common shared infrastructure, with greater flexibility than before. But where are we today in realising the vision for 5G dynamic network slicing?
As we move into the Coordination Age, telcos are under increasing pressure to innovate and find new sources of revenue growth. AI is one of a host of new technologies which can help them to achieve this.
Telco cloud will be a key enabler in the Coordination Age, but the role and value it provides is different depending on the stakeholder group within the organisations. We explore the different opportunities and concerns for telco cloud for various stakeholders across telecoms organisations.
Most operators are not planning to deploy Open RAN in their macro networks any time soon. However, Open RAN based neutral hosts offer a more immediate opportunity for operators to expand much needed 5G coverage: in-building, dense urban and rural. The macro networks will benefit too.
This article explores how telcos are thinking about automation, and why they should think about moving from intra-process automation in the short term, to inter-process automation in the longer term.
Given the push for digital transformation across various industries, the availability of spectrum and the interest in 5G, there has been an increased demand in private cellular networks. This article explores the business value that private cellular can deliver and key use cases it can enable.
DISH Network has announced a strategic collaboration with AWS, which sees DISH outsourcing its 5G network infrastructure to hyperscaler public cloud: what does this mean for DISH’s 5G O-RAN strategy and other partnerships?
STL Partners has created a model to estimate the size of the Open RAN market until 2030. The output of the model estimates the percentage of active RAN capex that is dedicated to Open RAN across five different scenarios: from ‘pure’ (assuming 100% of RAN capex is Open RAN) to ‘none’ (assuming 0% of RAN capex is Open RAN).
As the radio access network continues to evolve towards more open architecture, opportunities for innovation in the Open RAN space have proliferated. One of the central components within Open RAN architecture is the RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC), which provides an open hosting platform for innovative xApps and rApps. We highlight 12 key players in this space.
With more data than ever before, advanced analytics forms the base for AI and ML capabilities to play an essential role into the day-to-day operations of major telcos enabling smarter, more agile networks.
With several, complex SD-WAN offerings available and different players able to provide on-demand SD-WAN and multi-cloud networking capabilities, the SD-WAN ecosystem and market is becoming an increasingly interesting area and a potential battleground. This article provides an overview of the leading SD-WAN providers.
Network slicing is an exciting prospect for both telcos and enterprises, but the technology is still a long way away from large scale adoption. This article explores some examples of early tests and deployments, as well as considerations for telcos looking to monetise network slicing in the future.
Convergence in networks has been pursued for many years to varying degrees but operators have often pursued divergence to support the speed and need for innovation at the expense of convergence. We explore what has changed and why the balance of forces has now shifted in favour of convergence.
With demand for 5G continuing to grow, operators are racing to progress their rollout of 5G. In this article we explore the 5G rollout strategies of six different operators, and look at their goals for deployment of both standalone and non-standalone 5G over the coming year.
This report explores how the relationship between 5G and digital twins could be leveraged to create value for enterprises in Industry 4.0. We deep-dive on two industries, manufacturing and smart cities, to illustrate how these technologies can address key challenges in the market, and support organisations in their digital transformation.
Network function virtualization is a core part of the wider Telco Cloud philosophy, technology, and umbrella term that we have been talking about since at least 2011. Outside of the traditional network equipment providers, the number of companies associated with NFV and SDN is continually growing, so it can be hard to keep track of the key players in the market, what they do and where they play a role in helping telcos virtualise their networks. That is why we have created an interactive tool that shows the offerings from different players in the NFV ecosystem.
This overview explains the essentials about telco cloud, including virtualisation, NFV and SDN. Telco cloud represents a fundamental evolution in the way that networks are built, run and managed. It is not only about deploying virtualised and programmable infrastructure, leveraging technologies, such as NFV, SDN, AI, automation and distributed computing, to change the way that telcos operate and perform… but also about adopting cloud business practices that change the way they innovate. This was all about becoming more open, dynamic, agile and efficient.
Research stream, including around 8 reports a year
Our dedicated research stream covers why telco cloud matters in the 5G era, how to make it happen, and how to measure success. NFV SDN, and beyond. It also includes access to the NFV Deployment Tracker, our industry-leading database of deployments.
The data intelligence you can expect from our NFV tracker
Global O-RAN capex forecasts 2020–2030, modelling operator investments across four migration pathways.
5G is now the main driver of VNF deployment. But can telcos be cloud-native without being hyperscaler-dependent?
Cloud native networking offers operators a promise of efficiency, automation and innovation to underpin their future in the coordination age. But it should also mean a new operating model, new skills and organisation that few feel they are ready for.
Our in-depth analysis of Microsoft’s play in the telecoms market, why it acquired Affirmed Networks and Metaswitch, and what telcos should do about it.
Telco cloud continues to be deployed worldwide. A wave of recent deployments has been driven by 5G launches, and multiple factors may soon drive large-scale open RAN deployments
Edge infrastructure deployment is happening – but how big will it really be, and where will it happen? We quantify the five-year outlook for edge deployments across four key domains.
Born of a unique partnership between Deutsche Telekom and Cisco, ngena leverages the networks of partners worldwide to provide a global enterprise connectivity platform. How did it come about, how successful has it been, and what does it teach us about innovation in telecoms?
True E2E automation has not yet been achieved, but network automation is a reality now, and one which telcos must master to survive. What steps are telcos taking to implement network automation, what challenges must be overcome and what benefits can be expected?
Asia-Pacific is the leading region in the global NFV/SDN market: highest volume of deployments and consistent record of innovation. The region points the way ahead for the global market.
The number of deployments of NFV and SDN continues to grow – but while some markets are moving on to the next phase, others are just getting going.
Edge computing is a strategic opportunity for telcos. We examine the driving needs and applications for telco edge computing, describe the market and the options for telcos, discuss their partnerships with hyperscalers and recommend key actions.
Alongside the roll-out of 5G cores and radios, the Radio Access Network (RAN) is evolving to a more open, virtualised and distributed architecture. What are the opportunities and risks for telcos?
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 5G network core is supposed to be fully virtualised and cloud-native. But formulation of the 5G standards has not been harmonised with the broader NFV project. What impact will this have on service innovation?
We highlight the main networking challenges that SD-WAN is designed to address. Part 1 of a three-part mini-series exploring SD-WAN technology from an enterprise perspective.
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.
Telcos must adapt to virtualisation and changing customer needs in the Coordination Age. Our three new telecoms business models offer a realistic agenda for telcos to build up the stack into the IT layer – either by themselves or through partnerships.
In this webinar, we will explore how telcos can collaborate and partner with the hyperscalers to strengthen their respective positions, and how operators can leverage hyperscalers’ capabilities as they seek to move up the value chain.
In this webinar, we share STL’s latest research findings on the different operator strategies in approaching cloud native networking.
In this webinar STL Partners addressed the three most important sub-components of Open RAN (open-RAN, vRAN and C-RAN) and how they interact to enable a new, virtualized, less vendor-dominated RAN ecosystem.
STL Partners was tasked to identify and evaluate potential “big-bet” partnership opportunities to help the client scale and accelerate traction with T2 and T3 operators.
STL Partners helped Juniper to build an insights-led campaign focused on telco cloud, turning insights from an extensive global interview programme into tools that Juniper could use to engage with telcos.
“STL provided customised, detailed analysis that addressed our specific needs …. not fixed generic templates we get from others”
Director, Field and Partner Development, Global technology company
“We have joined forces with STL Partners to debate and drive the industry conversation on topics from revenue opportunities coming from the shift to a cloud based infrastructure, to the business feasilbity of 5G network slicing. I am very confident I can rely on STL Partners whenever I need unique and compelling points of view on the current state of the telco industry – about technology of course, but more importantly about the business aspects.”
Director of Portfolio Marketing, Telecommunications, Global technology company
“I am more certain now than ever that we made the right choice with STL Partners. The consulting team worked with professionalism and produced high-quality output that could be repurposed in a wide variety of ways”
Product Manager, Service Provider Analytics, Global technology company
Associate Senior Analyst
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