Software Defined Networking (SDN) as a whole may still be a nascent concept, but according to a new Strategy Analytics study that was sponsored by Tellabs (Nasdaq: TLAB), it could help mobile operators save over $4 billion in wireless backhaul expenses by 2017.
Five applications where SDN could help produce savings in the wireless backhaul network include metro aggregation/load redistribution, local breakout/Internet IXP, Wi-Fi offload/video redirect, cloud RAN, and small cells.
Strategy Analytics said that the savings on these applications could help to "close almost half of the $9.2 billion "backhaul gap" the analyst firm identified in its earlier report.
Similar to the first study, the top three countries where savings would be significant are Asia-Pacific, North America and Western Europe.
Asia-Pacific would gain the most savings of $2.7 billion, while North America and Western Europe would save $599 million and $574 million, respectively. Less developed areas, including the Middle East & Africa, Central & Eastern Europe, and the Caribbean & Latin America, would see savings of $162 million, $112 million, and $89 million.
Despite the potential SDN has for wireless backhaul, it has been primarily used to optimize data center resources and cloud platforms. Using SDN in the transport and backhaul segment is something that standards bodies only recently began to look at.
Tellabs itself said it plans to "incorporate SDN functionality into the Tellabs 8000 intelligent network manager, and into Tellabs 8600 and Tellabs 7100 products, early in 2014."
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