INFOGRAPHIC: Key Findings from Current Analysis’ 2015 Carrier SDN/NFV Survey

Jason Marcheck

Jason Marcheck

Summary Bullets:

  • In 2015, Current Analysis surveyed 100 decision makers at network operators regarding challenges facing network deployments, what they need most from their vendors, and which suppliers they view most favorably.
  • Although a key focus of vendor messaging in 2015 was helping operators to operationalize SDN/NFV, operators are facing more fundamental questions standing in the way of their decision to fully embrace network virtualization: uncertain ROI.
  • When asked what one thing operators feel the SDN/NFV supplier community is not adequately addressing, VNF performance dominated the responses. A word cloud below summarizes the key responses, with the size of each word corresponding to the frequency in which they appeared in the response results.
  • Cisco and Huawei have topped SDN/NFV vendor perception results for the past several years. However, IT-oriented suppliers – namely HP and IBM – made up considerable ground in 2015, now ranking closely behind Cisco and Huawei as top perceived SDN/NFV suppliers.
  • Ericsson also made a considerable jump in perception to round out the ‘Top 5’ in terms of best perceived vendors in the survey.

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What Was Hot in 2015: The Technologies, Topics, and Events You Cared About

Peter Jarich

Peter Jarich

Summary Bullets:

  • In 2015, SDN and NFV continued to dominate our “most read reports” list, with 5G gaining interest as well.
  • Beyond specific technologies, major vendor moves – partnerships and acquisitions – garnered plenty of attention.
  • Ignoring smaller vendors or less buzzed-about technologies could be dangerous if it leaves vendors and service providers exposed to disruptive market forces.

In an attempt to provide insight into a wide array of telecom network trends and technologies, it’s only natural that some of our analyses will be better read than others. That attention may be due to any number of factors, but interest in the topic is generally the most important driver. In other words, reports about topics that people care about should be the most read, with the top analyses of 2015 pointing to the most important trends and themes of the year. Read more of this post

CCAP: Taking Cable Operators to an IP Video & Gigabit Future

Erik Keith

Erik Keith

Summary Bullets:

  • Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP) solutions, which consolidate formerly discrete CMTS (data) and EdgeQAM (video) cable headend hardware, will pave the way for cable operators to deliver mass-market Gigabit broadband and IP video services.
  • Current Analysis will provide in-depth, qualitative analysis of CCAP solutions from five different vendors in the coming months, specifically, Cisco, ARRIS, Casa Systems, Harmonic and Huawei.

As video services become more sophisticated and bandwidth-hungry, Gigabit connectivity to every home is getting a lot of hype these days. The problem is that very few consumers in the U.S. and worldwide actually subscribe (or have access) to Gigabit services at present. Nevertheless, there is an undeniable sense that the Gigabit future is now. Just this week, U.S. cable giant Comcast announced that its 2 Gbps GigaPro service will be available in several new markets, while AT&T announced that its GigaPower service will be offered in additional major metro markets (17 total) and the operator will expand its target GigaPower customer based to include multifamily residences – i.e., apartments and condominiums – known as multi-dwelling units (MDUs) in industry jargon. Read more of this post

Cisco Live 2015: Fear and Loathing in San Diego

Peter Jarich

Peter Jarich

Summary Bullets:

  • At a product level, the 2015 edition of Cisco Live included plenty of clear themes: end-to-end solutions, security, co-innovation with customers, openness, network automation.
  • At the CEO level, there was one key message: the need for businesses to disrupt themselves or face hard times ahead.

While Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas provides a nice framework for a blog post title, there wasn’t actually that much loathing at Cisco Live 2015, the vendor’s annual user conference here in the U.S. Following a rather forthright and brutally honest keynote from CEO John Chambers, however, there should have been no shortage of fear. Read more of this post

Small Cells & Location-Based Services (LBS) – Why Vendors Will Have to Push Harder

Ed Gubbins

Ed Gubbins

Summary Bullets:

  • Mobile access infrastructure vendors are increasingly pushing location-based services for indoor/enterprise networks.
  • It’s a logical concept but one that hasn’t shown much traction yet.
  • Such services face serious challenges, including finding killer apps despite a somewhat fractured market.

Enterprise small-cell deployments haven’t exactly spread like wild fire yet (the latest market information from the Small Cell Forum shows most shipments are still residential). Yet, vendors are talking more than ever about applying location-based services (LBS) and analytics to indoor enterprise networks including small cells and WiFi access points. Read more of this post

MWC 2015: Virtual EPC Startups Snagged by the Big Guys, Filling Gaps in Portfolios

Glenn Hunt

Glenn Hunt

Summary Bullets:

  • Virtual EPC investments pay off for start-ups as major vendors open their wallets, filling portfolio gaps and strengthening their virtual network propositions.
  • Multiple vEPC wins add credibility and a level of completeness to the virtual networking solutions; customers bite and move on from PoCs and trials to commercial services.

This year’s Mobile World Congress is obviously the show to attend and at which to exhibit, and as we predicted, this is the year when the industry rapidly sets aside its safety blanket of trials and proofs of concept (PoCs) in favor of making serious commitments to virtualized solutions. Several announcements appear to demonstrate that vendors and operators have set aside pure PowerPoint and replaced it with checks from acquirers (for startups) and from operators (to vendors) for serious deployments. Read more of this post

Virtual EPCs Arrive Much Sooner Than Many Have Expected – But Where Is the Revenue?

Glenn Hunt

Glenn Hunt

Summary Bullets:

  • Predictions that EPC would be one of the first and most important NFV applications ring true; this month alone, we have seen not only technology/product announcements, but also POCs and even initial deployments.
  • Vendor opportunity appears to be wide open for both small and larger, well-established suppliers; given the software content, non-hardware vendors now have a chance to penetrate this early adopter market.

Now that the reality of virtualized network functions such as the mobile core and CPE is beginning to transition from the discussion and concept stage into proof of concept (PoC) and initial deployment in support of new operator service models, how will the vendor community be impacted from a profit and competitive perspective? June is shaping up to be a watershed month for virtual EPC (vEPC) announcements which point out that the mobile core is indeed one of the initial network functions to become fully virtualized and staged for deployment. A key observation is that not all of the announcements have come from traditional network suppliers, leaving no doubt that the market will become more crowded as startups and IT players join the traditional mobile core players. What seems clear is that the new vEPC model can help operators; what is somewhat less clear is how the new and existing suppliers will turn this market transition into profitable product sales – which are for the most part software-based. Read more of this post