Carrier SDN a $5.7 billion market by 2019: IHS

Market research firm IHS (NYSE: IHS) says that service providers globally will increase their spending on software-defined networking (SDN) software, hardware, and services from $103 million in 2014 to $5.7 billion in 2019.

Market research firm IHS (NYSE: IHS) says that service providers globally will increase their spending on software-defined networking (SDN) software, hardware, and services from $103 million in 2014 to $5.7 billion in 2019.

The prediction, contained in the new "2015 IHS Infonetics Carrier SDN Hardware, Software, and Services" report, follows a forecast from IHS that network operators will spend $11.6 billion on network functions virtualization (NFV) technology by 2019 as well (see "NFV market to jump 5X in four years says IHS"). The market research firm previously had predicted carriers would spend $11 billion on SDN and NFV combined in 2018 (see "Carrier SDN and NFV market worth $11B by 2018 says Infonetics").

The market is still something of a moving target. "We're still early in the long-term, 10- to 15-year transformation of service provider networks to SDN. Momentum is strong, but we won't see widespread commercial deployments where bigger parts of - let alone whole - networks are controlled by SDN until 2016 through 2020," said Michael Howard, senior research director for carrier networks at IHS.

Regardless of how long it takes, carriers will spend a significant amount of money on the transformation to SDN. Much of this will target software, including network apps, such as traffic analytics, and orchestration and controller software. IHS believes service providers will boost their spending on SDN software by 15X from 2015 to 2019.

Meanwhile, carriers are scrounging for SDN expertise, with many looking to the vendor community for help. IHS expects spending for outsourced services for SDN projects to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 199% between 2014 and 2019.

The "2015 IHS Infonetics Carrier SDN Hardware, Software, and Services" report examines the markets and trends related to building service provider SDNs. It tracks software that provides orchestration, controller, and application functions; outsourced services for SDN projects; and hardware in use for SDN networks, including routers, switches, WDM, and video content delivery network (CDN) equipment, and other telecom equipment controlled by SDN orchestration and controllers, such as CPE.

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