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Wireless & Mobile Landscape

Global Mobile LTE EPC Virtualization Forecast, 2013-2017: Impacts and Benefits

Mobile virtualization is a hot topic in the wireless industry today. However, there is considerable lack of knowledge as to what constitutes mobile virtualization and how and when it will be implemented by mobile operators.

This report discusses the potential impact of mobile EPC (evolved packet core) virtualization, the potential benefits both in terms of CapEx and OpEx to operators deploying LTE, and the global implications.

Mobile EPC virtualization requires that the EPC functions and processes be recreated using off-the-shelf hardware and then deployed in a data center. A virtualized EPC could be used to provide additional core capacity to a legacy EPC for a mobile operator or could be used by a third party to provide services to a specific group of customers. (Note that simply hosting an EPC and offering it back as a managed service to a mobile operator is not virtualization.)


Key Questions Answered

  • What is mobile EPC virtualization?
  • What types of mobile EPC virtualization exist and how do they differ?
  • What are the current standards efforts and industry groups associated with mobile EPC virtualization?
  • What is the relationship between virtualization of the EPC, SDN and NFV?
  • How is a virtualized EPC implemented?
  • What are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and risks associated with mobile EPC virtualization?
  • What new business models are enabled by mobile EPC virtualization?
  • How much are the mobile operators expected to spend globally on LTE EPCs in terms of CapEx and OpEx?
  • What are the potential savings associated with mobile LTE EPC virtualization for the world’s mobile operators (by region) in terms of CapEx and OpEx?
  • What is the potential impact of mobile EPC virtualization on the mobile infrastructure OEMs such as Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Cisco, Nokia Solutions & Networks, Samsung, ZTE and Huawei?
  • What are the opportunities for new virtualized EPC vendors such as Connectem?

Who Should Read

  • Mobile network operators and MVNOs
  • Mobile infrastructure OEMs
  • Mobile EPC vendors and OEMs
  • Virtualization software and solution vendors
  • Financial analysts and investors.

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Executive Summary
    • Three types of mobile virtualization defined
    • Software-defined networks
    • Network Functions Virtualization
    • Business models
    • Implementation
    • Strengths and weaknesses
    • Mobile EPC Virtualization Forecast
  • What is Mobile EPC Virtualization?
    • Three types of mobile virtualization defined
    • Software-defined networks
    • Network Functions Virtualization
  • Mobile Virtualization Standards and Working Groups
    • The ETSI Industry Specification Group (ISG) for NFV
    • OpenEPC
    • Blue Orbit
  • Virtualized EPC Business Models
    • Additional core capacity
    • RAN-neutral mobile services
    • Multi-RAN support
  • Virtual EPC Implementation
    • Virtualizing incumbent EPC
    • Orchestration
  • Potential SWOT of Mobile EPC Virtualization
    • Strengths and opportunities
    • Weaknesses and threats
  • Global LTE EPC Infrastructure Forecast
    • Global LTE Subscriber Forecast
    • Global LTE EPC Infrastructure CapEx Forecast
  • Global Mobile EPC Virtualization Benefit Forecast
    • CapEx Benefit of LTE EPC Virtualization
    • OpEx Benefit of LTE EPC Virtualization
  • Mobile EPC Virtualization Vendors
    • Alcatel-Lucent
    • Cisco
    • ClearSky Technologies
    • Connectem
    • Ericsson
    • General Dynamics Broadband
    • Huawei
    • Juniper Networks
    • Lemko
    • NSN (Nokia Solutions and Networks)
    • NetAmerica Alliance
    • Pario Solutions
    • Samsung Electronics
    • Tecore Networks
    • ZTE Corporation
  • Definitions
    • General
    • Device Types
    • Services
    • Network Technology
  • About iGR
    • Disclaimer

List of Tables

  • Table 1: ETSI specifications on Network Functions Virtualization
  • Table 2: Global LTE Subscribers by Region, 2012-2017 (000s)
  • Table 3: Global LTE Subscribers by Region, 2012-2017 (Percentage Share)
  • Table 4: Global LTE EPC Infrastructure CapEx, 2012-2017 ($M, depreciated CapEx)
  • Table 5: Global LTE EPC Infrastructure CapEx by Region, 2012-2017 (Percentage Share)
  • Table 6: Global LTE EPC Virtualization Infrastructure CapEx Benefit, 2013-2017 ($M, depreciated CapEx)
  • Table 7: Global LTE EPC Virtualization Infrastructure CapEx Benefit by Region, 2013-2017 (Percentage Share)
  • Table 8: Global LTE EPC Virtualization OpEx Savings by Region, 2013-2017 ($M)
  • Table 9: Global LTE EPC Virtualization OpEx Savings by Region, 2013-2017 (Percentage Share)

List of Charts and Figures

  • Figure A: Global LTE EPC Virtualization Infrastructure CapEx Benefit by Region, 2013-2017 ($M, depreciated CapEx)
  • Figure B: Global LTE EPC Virtualization OpEx Savings by Region, 2013-2017 ($M)
  • Figure 1: High Level View of SDNs
  • Figure 2: Mobile Core Virtualization
  • Figure 3: Figure 3: Mobile Core Virtualization with a Third Party
  • Figure 4: Mobile Core Virtualization with two mobile operators and a third party
  • Figure 5: Mobile Packet Core Architecture showing control and user planes
  • Figure 6: Mobile Packet Core Architecture with User Plane in SDN
  • Figure 7: Mobile EPC Virtualization SWOT Analysis
  • Figure 8: Total Global LTE Subscribers, 2012-2017 (000s)
  • Figure 9: Total Global LTE Subscribers by Region, 2012-2017 (000s)
  • Figure 10: Global LTE Subscribers by Region, 2012-2017 (Percentage Share)
  • Figure 11: Total Global LTE EPC Infrastructure CapEx, 2012-2017 ($M, depreciated CapEx)
  • Figure 12: Global LTE EPC Infrastructure CapEx by Region, 2012-2017 ($M, depreciated CapEx)
  • Figure 13: Global LTE EPC Infrastructure CapEx by Region, 2012-2017 (Percentage Share)
  • Figure 14: Total Global LTE EPC Virtualization Infrastructure CapEx Benefit, 2013-2017 ($M, depreciated CapEx)
  • Figure 15: Global LTE EPC Virtualization Infrastructure CapEx Benefit by Region, 2013-2017 ($M, depreciated CapEx)
  • Figure 16: Global LTE EPC Virtualization Infrastructure CapEx Benefit by Region, 2013-2017 (Percentage Share)
  • Figure 17: Total Global LTE EPC Virtualization OpEx Savings, 2013-2017 ($M)
  • Figure 18: Global LTE EPC Virtualization OpEx Savings by Region, 2013-2017 ($M)
  • Figure 19: Global LTE Radio Virtualization OpEx Savings by Region, 2013-2017 (Percentage Share)

For additional information on the Global Mobile LTE EPC Virtualization Forecast, 2013-2017: Impacts and Benefits market research report, please contact Iain Gillott, at (512) 263-5682 or by email.