Survey: U.S. mobile operators helping drive SDN adoption

LTE and LTE Advanced deployments will, in turn, drive adoption of mobile software-defined networking (SDN), which will be led by the United States, South Korea and Japan, according to Informa Telecoms & Media.

In a white paper sponsored by Juniper Networks, Informa found that 93 percent of operator respondents expect SDN to be implemented in mobile within five years, and half expect it to be implemented in the next one to two years.

The first deployments of SDN in the mobile network are expected during 2013 and 2014, said Informa.

In fact, SDN rollouts are already occurring. During May 2013, ConteXtream announced that a Tier 1 U.S. wireless operator deployed the vendor's SDN technology to virtualize almost half of its network. The vendor did not specify which carrier adopted its product, though indications point to AT&T (NYSE:T) or Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ). ConteXtream's investors include Verizon Investments.

Informa conducted its survey of mobile, converged and fixed operators during the first quarter of 2013 and received 130 completed responses. The firm noted that 65 percent of the survey's mobile operator respondents expect infrastructure vendors to have the greatest ability to influence mobile SDN adoption.

SDN will be applied to three different functions of the network architecture: separation of the control and data planes, virtualization of network components and service exposure via APIs.  

"Mobile SDN is set to be one of the most transformative technologies implemented in the next few years," said Dimitris Mavrakis, principal analyst at Informa. "Cost savings and network flexibility are arguably the first benefits to be considered, but providing a platform for new service-revenue opportunities and network exposure can help operators combat competition both within and outside the mobile value chain." 

 For more:
- see this Informa release

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