Network function virtualization (NFV) represents the shiftof focus from hardware to software in the telecom industry, with operators making loftier investments in software than in storage, server, and switch hardware. The software segment accounted for a major share in the network function virtualization market in terms of revenue contribution. Geographically, this market is distributed over North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East &Africa (MEA), and Latin America.
North Americadominated the global demand for network function virtualization in 2015 and is expected to retain its position over the forecast period, thus creating considerable opportunities for market players. The U.S. is a significant contributor to the growth of network function virtualization due to the superior technological infrastructure in the country and its acceptability of innovative and niche systems such as network function virtualization which are anticipated to experience rapid growth, propelling the market in North America.
The market is primarily driven by the commercial deployment of NFV by telecom operators such as Telefónica, AT&T, Verizon, and CenturyLink. The migration to the 5G network further pushes the need to deploy NFV technologies. Leading vendors intending to improve customer experience of network usage is also projected to play a role. Asia Pacific is a highly attractive market for network function virtualization in terms of growth potential owing to the consumer awareness in this region. Latin America is a potentially attractive market for and its share is likely to rise over the forecast period.
The network function virtualization market is highly competitive with the presence of large-scale as well as small-scale global and regional vendors. All the companies race against each other to increase their respective shares of revenue in the market. This cut-throat environment is projected to further intensify with new entrants in the market, which is primarily motivated by technological upgrades of existing services.
To survive and gain success in this market, it is important for leading companies to distinguish their services through a unique and clear value proposition. Establishing communities such as Open NFV and strong partnerships are predicted to strengthen their market positions and generate revenue. Deployment of network function virtualizationis majorly implemented by service provider networks such as Telefónica, Vodafone, AT&T, and Orange. Competition between vendors offering similar solutions is more intense compared to that in the total market.
In order to gain a competitive edge and to meet increasing demands, network function virtualization companies focus on providing services that increase efficiency and reliability. Key players include Brocade Communication Systems, Ericsson, Huawei Technologies, Nokia, Cisco, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Juniper Networks, and VMware.
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Other prominent vendors in the market include 6WIND, Affirmed Networks, A10 Networks, Allot Communications, ASTRI, Amdocs, Broadcom, Ciena (Blue Planet), Canonical's Ubuntu, Citrix, F5 Networks, Dell, Fortinet, GENBAND, Fujitsu, Intel, Ixia, IP Infusion, Mirantis, Metaswitch Networks, NFWare, NEC and Netcracker, OneAccess Networks, PacketLogic, Oracle, PLUMgrid, Palo Alto Networks, Quali Systems, Sonus Networks, Radware. Red Hat, Trend Micro,Telco Systems, Wind River, VeloCloud, and ZTE.These emerging market players have been investing huge amounts of capital in research and development activities and innovation centers in order to expand their production capacities and meet the market’s growing demands. In addition, major market players are extending their share in the global network function virtualization marketthrough mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and expansions.
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