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The Emerging NFV Ecosystem

Tracking the conversation around NFV's emergence, and the developing ecosystem of telco software vendors, standardisation bodies and operators focused on NFV deployment and management


  1. Network function virtualisation (NFV) is the talk of telecoms at the moment. The technology has made a strong shift from the theoretical to the practical, and many operators have moved past the "thinking about it" phase to the "doing it" phase, as revealed by a recent report from IHS Infonetics, which was covered by FierceTelecom.
  2. That 35 percent includes large operators like AT&T, which will reportedly reorganise nearly 130,000 employees within its organisation to focus on NFV deployment, according to FierceTelecom.
  3. As Comptel cited in a recent blog post, estimates from the Appledore Research Group suggest as many as 250 ongoing NFV proof of concept trials worldwide, with at least 25 early "live" insights.
  4. All of these NFV deployments are revealing similar benefits. For example, virtual customer premises equipment (CPE) rollouts offer lower operational costs, according to Appledore.
  5. In a recent podcast, TM Forum VP of Strategic Programs Carl Piva reinforced these benefits.
  6. "One takeaway is that we are actually getting to the stage where we can see some deployments, and some feedback from those deployments, from companies such as Facebook and Colt," said Piva in the podcast. "It’s clear that in these early deployments, things like virtual CPEs have been a starting point for people, and they are going into areas such as extended packet core virtualisation."
  7. NFV also dominated the conversation at this year's TM Forum Live! with a number of spectators, publications and speakers - including Comptel - commenting on the technology's emergence.
  8. With all this NFV activity and dialogue, telco is beginning to see the emergence of an ecosystem of software vendors, operators and standards bodies all focused on NFV deployment and management.
  9. The growth of this ecosystem is reflected in a number of ways, including new partnerships. Recent Comptel announcements demonstrate the impact these relationships will have on the greater NFV ecosystem.
  10. Nokia, for example, recently announced it is partnering with Comptel, who will provide NFV service orchestration capabilities for its Telco Cloud initiative. That will help digital and communications services providers deliver new services to customers faster.
  11. In a LinkedIn Pulse piece, Comptel Executive Vice President of Service Orchestration Antti Koskela spoke to why NFV service orchestration will be valuable to businesses like Nokia that aim to deliver radical service experiences backed by cloud-based networks.
  12. "We view service orchestration as the key tool to connecting digital supply and demand," wrote Antti. "At the same time, service orchestration should serve to separate business processes from the complexities of the network, empowering sales and customer processes to leverage the technology for easier offer creation."
  13. Other partnerships within the NFV ecosystem aim to build what Simon Osborne, CTO of Service Orchestration, recently called a "foundation for trust." In a piece for VanillaPlus, Simon explained "there is a significant opportunity for someone to lead NFV governance."