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Studies Address NFV, SDN Barriers, Benefits, Uptake

August 23, 2016

Agility, automation, lower capital costs, operational efficiencies – these are some of the drivers of carrier exploration and adoption of network functions virtualization and software-defined networking.

“Driven by the promise of total cost of ownership reduction, mobile operators are aggressively jumping on the NFV and SDN bandwagon, targeting deployments across a multitude of areas,” according to the new SNS Research report called “The NFV, SDN & Wireless Network Infrastructure Market: 2016-2030 – Opportunities, Challenges, Strategies, and Forecasts.”

The 1,600-page report, which is being promoted by Research and Markets, forecasts that service provider investments in NFV and SDN will exceed $18 billion by 2020. (This is several billion lower than the $21 billion by 2020 valuation that SNS Research had assigned the NFV and SDN space back in 2014.)

Elsewhere on the NFV and SDN market study front, IHS Markit today released the “2016 NFV Strategies Global Service Provider Survey” results.

This study talks about how operational and business support systems were seen as the key barrier to NFV and SDN adoption in 2014. But now, the company indicates, integrating old and new environments and the absence of all necessary equipment are gating factors for NFV.

In fact, IHS Markit reports that more than 59 percent of its survey respondents said they have deployed or will deploy NFV this year. But many of these respondents noted that integrating NFV solutions into existing networks and the lack of carrier-grade products are their two greatest implementation challenges.

This year has seen many carriers move from lab work and proof of concept efforts to product development collaborations with vendors and commercial implementations, the research and consulting firm added. It noted that most of the work around NFV is about business virtualized enterprise customer premises equipment, or vBrand.

“Growing in importance over the last several years, business vE-CPE can assist with revenue generation because it allows operators to replace physical CPEs with software so they can quickly innovate and launch new services,” according to IHS Markit.

In its “NFV Hardware, Software, and Services Annual Market Report,” which came out in July, IHS Markit estimates the NFV space will be worth $15.5 billion by 2020. That estimate includes NFV hardware, services and software.

Edited by Alicia Young

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