Gartner Blog Network

Telco Cloud and 5G Evolution Require Paradigm Change of Telco Suppliers

by Martina Kurth  |  January 17, 2018  |  Submit a Comment

CSPs worldwide have embarked upon a journey toward a new digital operating infrastructure due to the need for service development agility, deployment and service design flexibility and unprecedented scalability. However, traditional CSPs will require a shift from traditional network-based to software driven and cloud-service based delivery to successfully transform toward truly digital Service Providers.

Traditional Telco vendors, as portrayed in this report Competitive Landscape: Holistic Cloud Offerings for Communications Service Providers need to provide unified cloud offerings to enable CSPs to compete with cloud-native players such as Amazon and Google in terms of cloud-based digital infrastructures. Marketplaces, partner and re-seller capabilities will become critical in terms of future service delivery.

CSPs expect their strategic suppliers to lay out an evolutionary path to a fully automated, virtualized and cloud-based service delivery across several functional and technical cloud instances encompassing SDN/NFV, OSS/BSS and enterprise IT.

The proliferation of full-stack Telco cloud will also be paving the road to 5G and mission critical IOT via distributed cloud (NFVI & PaaS). Telco infrastructure suppliers with a stake in Telco cloud will take a leading position in the early battle for 5G market share.
Early mover CSPs such as Verizon, AT&T, DT and Swisscom, consciously put their bet on full stack pre-integrated Telco Cloud vendor solutions to get a grip on cost, efficiency and flexibility. There may be deviations in terms of CSPs´ sourcing approaches: single source, open standards based, or hybrid multi-sourcing.

A fully integrated, interoperable, cloud and virtualization Telco stack will also pave the technology adoption path from SDN/NFV to network slicing to 5G and IoT. In other words, vendors which are well positioned in the end-to-end Telco Cloud stack market are also likely to take market share in corresponding future network and/or IT technology markets such as digital technology platforms and ecosystems, data/AI, IoT and 5G. Vendors such as Ericsson and Huawei have the scale and R&D investments needed to succeed in early markets. They are well positioned as strong CSP transformation partners for complex hybrid physical and virtual networks.

Mirroring the digital, cloud-native market evolution, Telco suppliers need to transform themselves to hit new grounds with regards to cloud-native microservice, and container based service design and deployment principles. CSPs are looking to expedite cloud architectures underpinned by agile, continuous delivery and DevOps design processes for effective digital service design and delivery, in order to be able to take an early mover advantage.

This technology shift triggers also organizational, skillset and process changes that reflect the move from physical network engineering to services-driven, agile operational principles, as known in the IT and software development world. Only suppliers that successfully embrace cultural, mindset and skillset changes in their own organization (analogous to talent management at clients) will remove bottlenecks that allow CSPs´ clients to take their digital transformation to the next level: to successfully scale required technology investments across the organization.

Category: digital-it  

Martina Kurth
Research Director
9 years at Gartner
19 years IT Industry

Martina Kurth is a Research Director within CSP Technology advising CSPs, CTOs and CIOs worldwide on prevailing transformation and sourcing initiatives in the area of OSS/BSS and SDP. Her research also encompasses telco-specific CPQ, catalog, and order management systems and processes spanning CSPs' entire operational lead-to-install process. Read Full Bio

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes, with attribution to Gartner. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.