SDN (software defined networking) and the closely related topic of NFV (network functions virtualisation) has featured heavily in conversations around telecoms software since the technology started to gain commercial traction in the early 2010s and by projections, it’s about to explode; according to a report published this year by MarketsandMarkets, the global SDN and NFV market size is expected to grow from $3.68 billion in 2017 to $54.41 billion by 2022, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 71.4%.
Certainly, SDN and NFV have huge potential to transform networks in the telecoms space, making them more automated, agile and responsive, providing better customer experience, a reduction in Capex and Opex and better return on investment for communication service providers (CSPs). However, market dynamics and certain technological complexities have meant that CSPs have yet to fully realise the benefits of SDN and NFV. Here we look at the background of SDN and NFV, before focusing on the benefits,limitations and challenges they face with respect to service provider networks. We’ll then discuss the dynamics within the vendor space as new entrants and incumbents jostle for their place in the new landscape of lower barriers to entry and increased competition.Download PDF