The carrier routing and switching market saw a year-over-year recovery, growing 17%. Driving this growth is backhauling and core routing upgrades. Use cases, such Open RAN, are giving a new set of vendors a strong entry point into the mobile market. The cell site router market continues to grow because of the increase in densification of 5G radio. Disaggregation is having a positive impact on service providers’ efficiency in their networks. For vendors it means deciding what role they will play. Will they react and create solutions or miss the inflection point?
Many service providers saw 40% to 60% traffic growth in 2020 and are seeing a similar trajectory in 2021. With these demanding traffic growth requirements SPs must ensure that the capability to turn capacity quickly and cost efficiently is in place. This need for speed, a key business driver, continues to accelerate router demands as well as also driving up backhaul traffic; consequently, service providers continue to expand on capacity.
Although service providers are transitioning from 4G to 5G, there is no killer application in the consumer space that will help increase mobile pricing. Even without the applications, SPs are looking to implement technologies that will help them move faster, be more agile while enabling their enterprise customers to have more visibility and control. They are also automating provisioning and self-management to reduce the operational expenses of delivering their services.
Use cases, such as Private 5G and Edge services, continue to be a high priority for service providers, but to be successful, they will need to understand which verticals have the characteristics, requirements, and challenges and map value-added services that provide an enterprise a level of control, visibility, and expense savings.
Looking forward, SPs will continue to focus on IP network modernization; how to add more capacity; 5G expansion; Industry 4.0; how the industry can coordinate these factors; how to achieve deterministic performance into the network; how to ensure security, and how to determine the right hooks to enable automation.