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The future of networking: Key survey results

The future of networking: Key survey results

As the “big vision” year of 2020 approached, Nokia, Oracle and Inter Digital teamed up with Heavy Reading to conduct a survey of communications service providers (CSPs) on the future of networking.

Over 100 fixed, mobile and converged CSPs from around the world responded to share their perspectives on internet evolution, 5G adoption, cyber security and the digital transformation to DevOps, next-generation operations support systems (OSSs) and cloud-native service architectures. The questions surrounding these topics included:

  • What is fueling the next cycle of network investments?
  • What are the biggest challenges?
  • Which technologies are key?
  • Where can CSPs add value and how can they achieve growth?

The Future Networking Survey Report contains the detailed questions and answers about these important topics, but here are some of the key findings.

Although eroding profitability is seen as a major challenge, most CSPs remain hopeful for the future. They see additional avenues to revenue growth and sustainable profitability by offering more personalized services with support for IoT applications and by delivering secure online services with managed SLAs for bandwidth, latency and reliability.

5G is viewed as a game changer that brings new opportunities for delivering digital services, but most CSPs currently see the value of 5G to improve existing services. However, 5G will force them to review their business models and forge new industry relationships.

5G deployment is still in its early days but most CSPs are satisfied with the progress made so far on standards and implementations, and are shifting their focus from air interfaces to the transformation required of the core network: network functions virtualization/software-defined networking (SDN) and edge.

SDN, big data analytics, AI and machine learning together with open, machine-programmable interfaces are all key enablers for the next-generation OSS to improve network visibility and insight and to create a path to network automation. Cloud-native service architectures are also highly regarded as the means to improve service agility and velocity. These conclusions align well with Nokia’s approach for insight-driven IP networks..

Perhaps more surprising is that CSPs appear to be clearheaded about the future despite an increasingly complex business landscape and a bevy of new and emerging technologies vying for their attention. Sustaining profitability remains a key concern but there are avenues for growth and opportunity. The future of the internet remains bright despite aggravating security threats and lingering regulatory uncertainty about net neutrality.


For further details, download the full report here. For more information about Nokia insight-driven networks, visit our online resource center

Share your thoughts on this topic by joining the Twitter discussion with @nokianetworks or @nokia using #5G #AI #SDN

Arnold Jansen

About Arnold Jansen

Arnold is a senior solution marketing manager in Nokia’s Network Infrastructure business division and responsible for promoting IP routing products and solutions. Arnold has held a number of roles in research and innovation, sales, product management, and marketing during his 25 years in the telecommunications industry. He holds a Bachelor degree in Computer Science from the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences.

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