Virtualized mobile network spend to touch nearly $6B by 2018, says ABI Research

Telecom Lead America: A recent research from ABI Research reveals telecom networks will virtualize, starting with the services plane and following with the control and data planes of modern 3G and 4G networks.

According to the research firm, the virtualized mobile network spend will reach nearly $6B by 2018.

Nokia Siemens Networks has taken leadership in virtualizing its Liquid Core network with commercial ATCA and HP servers, and is most aligned with NFV.

Cisco, with its nascent server business, is also positioned to exploit this trend, as its ASR5xxx software should readily port.

Infrastructure vendors with proprietary systems are also moving to support virtualization on their platforms, and should deliver similar transformational benefits to their installed base.

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The report, “The SDN and NFV Business Case” highlights that telecom industry is looking to leverage the scale economies and service velocity of the IT industry. This results in the ETSI NFV WG efforts to nudge the Telecom ecosystem closer to the IT ecosystem.

Operators are starting to consider commercial IT servers for their core networks and capturing the resulting CapEx savings. The telecom equipment manufacturers identify the potential for larger OpEx savings, but not so much for CapEx savings.

ABI Research believes OpEx savings will exceed CapEx savings, but the biggest financial impact will come with innovations that are inconceivable with current business processes.

“Software Defined Networking and Network Functions Virtualization are shaping up to fundamentally change the nature of the telecom industry,” says Joe Hoffman, practice director at ABI Research.

According to Hoffman, the changes in business practices will enhance both top line and bottom line financial results much more than just cost reductions. In the long run, operators embracing SDN/NFV will outrun their competitors with a much faster service velocity.

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