The results of a new survey of service providers from IHS Markit indicates that 81% of respondents expect to deploy network functions virtualization by 2017. In fact, 59% told the market research firm that they have already deployed NFV or expect to do so by the end of this year.
The vast majority of early NFV deployments in the next year and beyond will be for business virtualized enterprise customer premises equipment (vE-CPE), also known as vBranch or enterprise vCPE, according to Michael Howard, senior research director, carrier networks at IHS Markit(see chart above). vE-CPE enable service providers to replace physical CPEs with software, which enables faster innovation and new services launch.
Howard sees many carriers spending this year moving their NFV proof-of-concept and evaluation activities toward engaging with vendors that have development and can supply commercial software. This trend signals that many carriers have overcome the primary barrier to NFV deployment: integration with operations and business support systems (OSS/BSS).
Nevertheless, Howard describes the evolution toward NFV and software-defined networking (SDN) as still in its early stages. Thus, carriers still may encounter dead ends – as well as opportunities not previously available.
The 26-page IHS Markit NFV strategies survey derives from interviews with purchase-decision makers at 27 service providers around the world that have deployed NFV or plan to in the future. Operators were asked about their strategies and timing for NFV, deployment drivers and barriers, target use cases, applications, and more.
For related articles, visit the SDN/NFV Topic Center.
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