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Research Firm Says 5G Drives Wireless Network Functions Virtualization

New research from Dell'Oro Group indicates next-generation 5G wireless technology is boosting the use of network functions virtualization (NFV).

5G is a next-gen telecommunication standard for mobile Internet connectivity, promising faster speeds and more wireless reliability for smartphones and other mobile devices.

NFV, a technology complementary to software-defined networking (SDN), is a network architecture putting virtualization to work to foster new classes of network node functions that serve as building blocks for communication services. NFV can be used to define, create and manage networks through the use of software and automation that replaces dedicated network appliances.

"NFV has been promoted for many years now and it appears 5G is the impetus to get the market moving for wireless service providers," said Dell'Oro analyst David Bolan in a statement this month. "NFV cloud-native architecture is required by 5G for the core to deliver micro-services and mobile edge computing for low-latency services. Leading edge service providers are preparing their [Evolved Packet Core] EPCs for 5G, especially since the 5G non-standalone networks will rely on them."

Dell'Oro identified leaders in this area as: Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia, Cisco and ZTE.

The research firm announced its findings in a new for-pay research report titled the 1Q18 Wireless Packet Core Quarterly Report.

Highlights of the research included:

  • Cloud-native NFV for EPC represented 19 percent of the revenues and is expected to accelerate to 37 percent in 1Q19, representing a 150 percent Y/Y growth rate.
  • U.S. service providers are fueling the initial growth and China, Korea, Japan, Scandinavia and the Middle East service providers will escalate deployments in the near-term future.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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