SDN/NFV and cost implications for mobile and fixed networks New technologies enable simpler network management and new products
The introduction of SDN/NFV represents the next stage of development of mobile and fixed networks. In a discussion paper, WIK analyses what these new technologies mean for the network operation and how they may lead to cost reductions. The main feature of SDN/NFV is a centralised, software-based network management. Instead of an architecture that routes traffic from node to node, it will be possible to control the traffic flow as a whole. Intelligent network equipment at the nodes will be replaced by virtual machines, so-called "white boxes". Such centralised control will allow a better utilisation of resources and reduces fixed costs. It can be expected that the achieved cost advantages of network operation will be passed on to wholesale products. Therefore, this discussion paper derives implications of SDN/NFV for the cost structures of mobile and fixed networks as well as for the wholesale charges based on them.
Due to software-based management, new features such as network slicing will enable the introduction of completely new wholesale products, such as the real-time setup of leased lines. The discussion paper illustrates the potential of SDN/NFV based on first case studies.