Can the industry fast track NFV and SDN?

How long will NFV and SDN deployment realty take?

Will NFV and SDN be clear winners? If so when?

The normal pace of change in the Telecoms industry is slow…   think plate tectonics, think downloading a Blueray Movie over a dial-up connection.  So why are so many people in the industry concerned and/or convinced that we can rapidly move towards a virtualized software-driven environment.  After all, there are plenty of horses in the race, why should we be NFV and SDN?  The upside for Telco NFV and SDN is clear, costs savings and speed of deployments – both essential to operators remaining relevant in the coming years.

Looking at the agenda for the upcoming Mobile World Congress, the official program is almost devoid of discussion on carrier NFV AND SDN – strange when you think this will be a hot conversation point on the exhibition floor.  Let’s look at the numbers.  SNS Research expects NFV and SDN investments to reach nearly $21 billion by 2020.  While Infonetics expects carrier NFV and SDN hardware and software to grow from $500M in 2013 to $11B in 2018 – not bad for a 5-year growth spurt.  The fact is that a lot of these revenues will be diverted from elsewhere – some will win other won’t.

AT&T (NYSE: T) has been the most vocal about its SDN and NFV initiatives, publicly sharing its goal to virtualize and control more than 75 percent of its network using a software-driven architecture by 2020. But Verizon (NYSE: VZ), while taking a more tentative approach, is on board too, as well as other operators around the world.

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) is among the many companies contributing to the emerging open source standards efforts through movements like OpenStack, the open source cloud computing platform, and Open Daylight Project, a collaborative Linux Foundation open source project for accelerating the adoption of SDN and NFV.

Both SDN and NFV sound like promising technologies for operators, saving them money in the long run and enabling the rollout of faster services as carriers increasingly compete with over the top (OTT) players.

While some players are full-steam ahead, others are taking it a slower pace.  I believe that like many of the changes in Telecom in recent times, the biggest challenge is to the culture of the organization.  Whether the topic is NFV and SDN, Big Data or OTT – the speed and success of related initiatives will depend on how well the ethos and mindset of departments and personnel within the Telecom companies can adapt and realign themselves.  As the worlds of IT and Telco continue collide, the companies that will emerge the strongest are those that manage/invest in their people.

More Here.. [FierceWireless]

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