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January 25, 2013

Virtualisation to reduce mobile operators’ costs

Has the potential to drive down the overall ownership cost by up to half: report

By CBR Staff Writer

Virtualisation and software defined networking (SDN) are expected to offer huge cost savings to mobile operators as well as improve service offerings through the decade, according to a new report from Strategy Analytics.

The research firm’s Mobile Broadband Opportunities (MBO) service report, "2013 Network Trends – BT, Deutsche Telekom, Singtel, Telstra, Verizon Pioneer SDN and Services at the Edge," reveals how the operators have been virtualising lower layer network resources, mainly for next generation 4G IMS networks, which currently separate the data and control planes such as SDN.

Strategy Analytics Service Provider Analysis director Sue Rudd said that operators are beginning to see the huge potential for SDN beyond the data centre – SDNs will extend across technologies, frequencies and protocols to deliver network services everywhere from anywhere.

"The immediate opportunity is IP routing for virtualised caching and storage followed by shared processing for the Radio Access Network (RAN) and load sharing for mobile backhaul, leading eventually to a virtualised network core," Rudd said.

The report cited BT’s announcement in June 2012 that network virtualisation had been capable of driving down the overall ownership cost by a third to a half, while reducing power consumption by more than 50%.

Strategy Analytics Mobile Broadband Opportunities (MBO) director Susan Welsh de Grimaldo said once service resources are virtualised with SDN, operators can simultaneously differentiate business offerings, increase revenues and accelerate delivery of new services.

"With IP routers to support access for ‘Services at the Edge’, operators can deliver multi-screen video, digital advertising, and mobility everywhere seamlessly at low cost," Grimaldo said.

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