Carriers will spend $5.7B on SDN by 2019, says IHS

The global market for software-defined networking (SDN) software, hardware and services is expected to skyrocket from $103 million in 2014 to $5.7 billion in 2019, according to IHS. The research firm, in its latest IHS Infonetics SDN study, also said that the industry is still early in this SDN transformation and it won't be until 2016 to 2020 that the industry will have widespread commercial deployments of SDN.

However, because SDN technology is new and different and brings about fundamental changes to the network, service providers are looking for expertise on SDN-based services, which could bode well for vendors that have that type of knowledge.

Interestingly, IHS expects outsourced SDN projects to grow at a 2014-2019 CAGR of 199 percent.

This recent report follows a similar one IHS Infonetics conducted in July on network functions virtualization (NFV). That report found that 35 percent of service providers globally are planning to deploy NFV in 2015 and 48 percent plan to evaluate NFV by the end of this year.

One of the initial barriers for commercial deployment of SDN and NFV is that operators much acquire and train existing staff for this transition.

One telco that's ramping up company-wide training for SDN and NFV is AT&T. The telco recently revealed that it is reorganizing nearly 130,000 employees of its organization, including IT, network and operations staff, to focus on this new effort. Out of these, 2,000 engineers are focused on software defined networking (SDN) with thousands of others participating in the effort.

For more:
- see this press release

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