Communications Review - The software-defined carrier

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How extending network virtualisation architecture into IT BSS/OSS architectures opens up transformational opportunities for telecom and cable operators

For the chief technology officers (CTOs) and chief information officers (CIOs) of major telcos and MSOs, transformation enabled by software-defined networking/network function virtualisation (SDN/NFV) is currently high up the strategic technology agenda. Many leading operators have already made great strides in implementing virtualisation technologies in their communications networks, realising significant cost and efficiency gains as a result. But the benefits achieved to date are only the start. To increase them still further, there’s clear potential for carriers to expand SDN/NFV across the entire enterprise—first into the IT and data centre network, and then into the wider business. The resulting boost to performance and consolidation of duplicate capabilities can be both dramatic and pervasive, equipping telcos to deal more effectively with the parallel profound changes now under way in their competitive landscape, customers’ behaviour, and environment for innovation.