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Technical Shift in the Telecom Vendor Market

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The telecom infrastructure developer’s market is witnessing a technical change globally. So far the main thrust of the communications service providers was towards advanced hardware, which would enable them to attain enhanced speed, scalability and reliability.

However, recent developments suggest that operators are gradually shifting from hardware centric growth model to a IT/software centric business model. The primary reason behind this is the significant growth of cloud-based virtual networking.

Growth of software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) encouraged newly emerging digital media companies to invest heavily in the communications infrastructure market. SDN provides customers higher bandwidth utilization, higher reliability and reduced capital spending.

NFV is designed to consolidate and deliver the networking components needed to support a fully virtualized infrastructure – including virtual servers, storage and even other networks.  It utilizes standard IT virtualization technologies.

As the internal dynamics of telecom vendor market is shifting towards software centric approach, the traditional large network hardware developers are facing severe competitive threat. Some of them include LM Ericsson AB (ERIC - Free Report) , Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN), which is a subsidiary of Nokia Corp. (NOK - Free Report) , Huawei Technologies and ZTE.

On the other hand, major next-generation IT/software telecom vendors include VMWare Inc. (VMW - Free Report) , Juniper Networks Inc. (JNPR - Free Report) , Ciena Corp., and ConteXtreme.  

A recent report by research firm Ovum predicts that the capital expenditure of carriers will reach around $367 billion in 2019. While the U.S. is expected to maintain its speed of telecom growth in the near term, most of the impetus will come from the emerging markets such as China, India, Brazil and Russia.

Carrier expenditures have increased in Japan and even major telecom operators of the Western Europe, which is the economically most vulnerable region, have also raised their budget to some extent.

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