Where will the telecom industry go in 2017?

A new year has just begun and research companies are hurrying to publish their predictions for the upcoming year. Below you can find what the analysts from the leading research companies believe will be the top trends for the Telecom industry in 2017.

Strong growth in NFV and SDN

Research company Northstream expects a breakthrough and strong growth in NFV activities. The incentives for operator implementation are high, as some new services such as VoLTE (voice over long-term evolution), will benefit from virtualized network functions (VNFs).

The new year will be driven by services such as VoLTE, Carrier Cloud, Wi-Fi calling, service chaining, resource sharing and network slicing. In parallel, rather than acting as a replacement strategy for operators, NFV will be driven by the natural evolution of existing infrastructures.

Northstream predicts that NFV will finally take off in 2017, as multi-vendor solutions that can be integrated into operators’ existing networks and operations have become available, and operators have announced new plans for NFV implementations.

Optimism around NFV and Software defined networking (SDN) is supported by new research conducted by Technology Business Research (TBR). The report indicates that most Tier 1 telecom providers anticipate their organizations will adopt NFV and SDN technologies within two years.

The results show that initial large-scale commercial deployments are driving optimism around NFV and SDN, fueled by positive business results from large-scale commercial deployments of business network services such as AT&T and Orange.


TBR expects global enterprise SDN revenue to grow at 72 percent CAGR through 2020, complementing legacy deployments while disrupting sales and innovation strategies.

SDN will compose nearly 40% of global enterprise network infrastructure revenue (roughly $12.7 billion) by 2020, according to TBR’s analysts.

G5 is still far away

Northstream also forecasts that commercial deployments of fully standardized standalone mobile 5G technology will not take place before 2019–20.

The company’s analysts have noted that mass 5G deployments are at least six years away. Until then, operators will invest heavily in the advancement of LTE standards rather than going all-in on 5G before it has been fully standardized.

The idea that the 5G revolution will witness serious hurdles is also shared by Strand Consult, which goes as far as stating that 5G is “just an orgy of hype.” According to Strand Consult, 5G will find it difficult to create economic growth despite the claims of mobile operators and politicians. While not a total loss, 5G will probably be a financial disappointment for most.

5G by 2020

According to a report by Chetan Sharma Consulting, Korea is expected to lead the industry in setting 5G standards and commercial deployments. In the US, 5G activity is expected to pick up in 2017 with Verizon and AT&T eyeing commercial deployments of some shape and form this year.

High demand for virtualized video delivery

Telecom adviser Analysys Mason forecasts that an increase in the volume of mobile video traffic will lead network operators to invest in virtualized video delivery and traffic management solutions.

According to the report, mobile video will lead network operators to the virtualization and orchestration of key video delivery components such as content management systems and content delivery networks.

Virtualization will enable network operators to scale capacity on demand, reduce stranded Capex (capital expenditure) and cost-effectively deliver multi-screen, OTT (over-the-top) and 4K video services.

Analysys Mason researches indicate that the benefits of virtualized video management and delivery can lead to Opex (operational expenditure) reductions of 59% compared with standard physical approaches.

Additional resource

To read Telco Systems 2017 predictions click here


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