More than half of operators will start deploying SDN by the end of this year, with multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) backbone core and cloud services seen as the first priority, according to new research.
A new report from Infonetics found that 2014 is the year both SDN and NFV will move from lab to field trials. Currently, 29 percent of survey participants are implementing SDN projects, with 52% planning to do so by the end of this year.
Meanwhile, 97 percent plan to roll out SDN and 93 percent NFV in the longer term, according to the survey. MPLS is the short-term priority, but the research firm predicts that operators will move to multilayer transport.
The report found NFV was being deployed to deliver services to businesses and enterprises, which was operators’ greatest source of new revenue. However, back office OSS and BSS systems were seen as the biggest barrier to implementing NFV.
The analysts said the major vendors are the likeliest to capitalise from the appetite for NFV, with operators saying they will purchase products from the major players.
Michael Howard, Co-Founder and Principal Analyst for Carrier Networks at Infonetics Research, said: “This is the year that SDN and NFV move from the lab to field trials. Many carriers are in the process of moving from SDN/NFV proof-of-concept projects to working with vendors in the development and ‘productisation’ of software that will become the basis for commercial deployments.
"Over the coming months, a few operators will move to actual commercial deployments, mostly specific NFV use cases, but only a few. It won’t be until 2015 that we’ll see commercial deployments kick into motion, still most likely on a limited basis, as operators put one or two use cases to the test under real world conditions, in their live networks.”