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Communications Service Providers (CSPs), including wire line, wireless, and cable providers, need to innovate to keep up with the competitive pressure of the rapidly changing network environment. As more of the value (and revenues) flow to over-the-top service providers like Google and Amazon, CSPs face the prospect of increasingly becoming providers of commodity-like transport services. At the same time, the huge growth in traffic driven by video, mobile, and cloud usage is overwhelming current networks, forcing CSPs to spend heavily in new equipment just to keep up with bandwidth demand.
The answer for most leading CSPs is to improve their ability to introduce new revenue-generating services, increase customer satisfaction, and reduce their costs. A key part of this telecom transformation is for the CSPs to modify their traditional network architectures significantly to improve agility and reduce operating costs. CSPs need networks that can rapidly respond to changing traffic patterns, new applications, and user requirements.
The IT market offers many lessons for the telecom industry transformation, including rapid innovation, reliance on standardized servers and operating systems, and a robust independent software (ISV) ecosystem. CSPs want to extend these benefits of IT to the carrier network to help transform the network:
- CSPs must modernize and transform their networks so that they can rapidly enable new revenue producing services and to profitability handle large growth in wire line and wireless traffic
- NFV is a key technology that enables CSPs to transform their networks so that they can deliver new services and reduce costs quickly. Service agility is key.
- The migration to NFV requires telecom specific virtualization software to deliver real time traffic, scale to hundreds of millions of users, and support high reliability (99.999% uptime).
Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) includes many technologies that will enable CSPs to create more agile networks.
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