January 24, 2019

Survey: Virtualization Adoption Still Lags, but Operators See Potential in B2B Services and Automation

A new Heavy Reading and Netcracker survey of global service providers reveals SDN/NFV services for 5G use cases, SD-WAN and other offerings look to be the most profitable in the next two years.

Leveraging the cloud for the perks of more agility at a lower cost is now well-known throughout the service provider community, though process with “cloudifying” the network is still in its early stages, according to a new survey by Heavy Reading and Netcracker. The findings of the study, which polled 69 service providers from around the world, are highlighted in the report “SDN/NFV Pulse of the Industry: Commercial Realities.”

The research shows that virtualized services for 5G, SD-WAN, smart healthcare and cities, among others, are seen as the most profitable SDN/NFV services. This underscores that operators are in pursuit of the B2B opportunity.


Despite this awareness and their objectives, however, service providers’ views of virtualization are still in their early phases, with operators noting that they only intend to use virtualization for about 40 percent of their network.

The biggest question surrounding this new finding is why. Why is virtualization’s big picture still not in focus?

What’s Really Going On?

The findings of the report indicate that many operators intend to leverage hybrid networks for some time before diving more aggressively into virtualization. The survey also found that orchestration—a vital component in cloud environments—is not being leveraged to automate networks and services, showing that some of the most beneficial capabilities of virtualization are not being harnessed.

While the report shows that service providers have made progress with their virtualization initiatives, it also demonstrates that there is still a ways to go.

For a deeper dive into the survey’s findings and insight into where and how operators intend to leverage SDN/NFV, download your free copy of the report.


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