IHS: NFV on the rise as 35 percent of service providers will deploy it in 2015

Service provider interest in network functions virtualization (NFV) continues to ramp as AT&T (NYSE: T), CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) and other large carriers look to virtualize their networks.

According to a new IHS Infonetics report that surveyed domestic and global service providers, 35 percent are planning to deploy NFV in 2015.

Out of the service providers that were surveyed by IHS, 48 percent of service providers plan to evaluate NFV by the end of this year.

Despite the potential of NFV and SDN, some of the initial barriers for commercial deployment will be products that are not carrier grade and then acquiring and training 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.

Some of the initial use cases for NFV over the next year will be virtual enterprise CPE (vE-CPE), service chaining and virtual network platform as a service (VNPaaS).

Michael Howard, senior research director for carrier networks at IHS, said in a release that although the transition to NFV and SDN is still in the early stages, a number of "carriers will be moving from proof-of-concept tests and lab evaluations to commercial deployments of NFV in 2015."

Howard added that "all major operators are either now deploying NFV or plan to within the next few years" because it will "deliver benefits in service agility and new revenue, operational efficiencies and capex savings."

For more:
- see the release

Related articles:
AT&T shifts 130K employees to focus on software networking transition
AT&T's Fuetsch: Apple's iOS software updates 'biggest event we worry about' on network
ECI CEO: Service providers don't have to throw away hardware to migrate to SDN, NFV
HP enhances NFV portfolio by purchasing ConteXtream
Service providers want openness, vendor collaboration when deploying NFV, SDN, say panelists
Service providers signal large-scale NFV deployments are coming, says Dell'Oro

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