Wednesday, April 19, 2017

ABI: Cloud Deployments to take off after 2020, driven by roll-out of 5G

ABI Research predicts in its Telco Cloud Framework and Deployment Roadmaps study that large-scale telco cloud deployments will attain critical mass after 2020, in parallel with the deployment for 5G networks.

ABI expects that the fifth network generation will require a new core network to support advanced concepts such as network slicing and services geared towards a variety of business verticals. However, the research firm believes that early 5G deployments will focus on delivering enhanced mobile broadband, which will mean there will be no immediate requirement for a new telco core network.

ABI notes that AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica and Verizon are currently refining their strategies for 5G and planning their networks as shared platforms, rather than a mix of individual network appliances. As a result, network resources will be virtualised, distributed and software controlled with the aim of creating a far more agile network. In turn, this model will allow the implementation of what it terms an 'untelco' strategy, involving the sale of tailored network resources to different verticals.

However, ABI finds there are signs that the deployment of end-to-end systems remains the end goal for operators. For example, Telefonica O2 UK has awarded Nokia an end-to-end contract for a cloud-native packet core. It notes that implementing a true vendor-agnostic, common-off-the-shelf (COTS)-based network in-house would present the operator with a considerable challenge. ABI anticipates the award of many more end-to-end telco cloud vendor contracts in the future.

Commenting on the report, Dimitris Mavrakis, research director at ABI Research, said:

-           "Although telcos are transforming their technology and business platforms to become more agile and to evolve past monolithic access-based business models, they are finding it much more challenging than anticipated… software, cloud computing and open source are promising and will simplify operations, but in the short term, telcos are preferring to rely on their trusted vendors".


-           "… open source projects are contributing valuable inputs toward the evolution of telco networks, (but) there is also competition among open source projects and the concept is misunderstood and in some cases misused… the golden ratio is somewhere between end-to-end systems and open source components, if vendors provide open interfaces and flexibility to integrate third-party and smaller vendors".

https://www.abiresearch.com/press/telco-cloud-reach-critical-mass-after-2020-driven-/

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