5G to spur cloud deployment from 2020

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Large-scale cloud deployments are set to reach a tipping point after 2020, according to new predictions, as more advanced network technologies necessitate new strategies.

The report from ABI Research said deployments would reach “global critical mass” in parallel with roll-outs of 5G networks.

It said the rise in cloud would coincide with the need for a new core network to allow advanced concepts such as network slicing and services geared towards different vertical markets. In early deployments, the report said, there would not be an immediate need for a new telco core as these will focus on enhanced mobile broadband.

ABI said some telcos are planning networks as shared platforms with virtualised, distributed and software-controlled network resources. It cited AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica and Verizon as examples.

This structure would allow telcos to sell tailored network resources to different vertical markets.

However, ABI said there are also indications that end-to-end systems are the end goal for some telcos and the research firm expects more end-to-end telco cloud contracts will be awarded.

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Dimitris Mavrakis, Research Director at ABI Research, said: “Software, cloud computing, and open source are promising and will simplify operations, but in the short term, telcos are preferring to rely on their trusted vendors to continue this journey.

“Although a few open source projects are contributing valuable inputs toward the evolution of telco networks, there is also competition among open source projects, and the concept is also misunderstood and in some cases, misused by several industry players.

“The golden ratio is somewhere between end-to-end systems and open source components, if vendors provide open interfaces and flexibility to integrate third-party and smaller vendors.” 

A report by Rethink Technology Research recently said that a rise in cloud-RAN (C-RAN) deployments in 2018 will lead to the technology being installed by the “entire world” in 2021. Eighteen percent of respondents to Rethink’s survey said that the ability to use network resources more flexibly was the main reason for considering C-RAN.