MarketsandMarkets forecasts the global virtualized evolved packet core market size to grow from USD 3.9 billion in 2020 to USD 13.7 billion by 2026, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 22.8% during the forecast period. Mobile operators are embracing cost-effective solutions, which enable them to reduce their operational costs, improve network resource utilization, and implement a wide range of new services, such as Voice over Long-Term Evolution (VoLTE), Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWi-Fi), Internet of Things (IoT), wireless broadband, and private LTE. Globally, telecom operators have widely adopted the Network Functions Virtualization/Software-Defined Networking (NFV/SDN) technology in their mobile core networks to improve their network efficiency and gain competitive advantage. The demand for vEPC solutions is burgeoning across telcos due to their wide range of benefits, such as accelerated Time-to-Market (TTM) and reduced Operating Expenses (OpEx). These solutions also offer scalability and flexibility in the network. These solutions also have the ability to quickly launch new services, which unlocks new market opportunities for telecom operators and enterprises.
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Services segment to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period
Services play a vital role in the deployment and integration of next-generation networking solutions in an enterprise’s business environment. Services are considered an important component of the vEPC market, as they majorly focus on improving the business processes and optimizing the enterprise’s network. Services are considered as the backbone of vEPC, as they are instrumental in fulfilling the clients’ requirements, such as network testing, planning and optimization, support and maintenance, and consulting.
Cloud mode of deployment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period
Cloud mode of deployment is expected to ehibit a higher CAGR during the forecast period.vEPC is a cloud-native next-generation virtualized core network architecture. With cloud-based technologies, end users can better leverage the business to the cloud or migrate it to the cloud platform for efficient and continuous service capabilities. The deployment of various cloud-based and 5G on-demand slicing solutions using cloud-native thinking and models is bound to accelerate the digital transformation of the entire communications industry.
The key and emerging market players in the vEPC market include Nokia (Finland), Ericsson (Sweden), Cisco(US), Huawei (China), ZTE (China), Samsung (South Korea), Affirmed Networks(US), Mavenir(US), NEC(Japan), Athonet(Italy), Cumucore(Finland), Druid Software(Ireland), IPLook (China), Tech Mahindra (India), Parallel Wireless (US), Polaris Networks (US), Xingtera (US), Lemko (US), Tecore(US), and Telrad Networks (Israel). .These players have adopted various strategies to grow in the global vEPC market.
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Ericsson started offering vEPC for mobile broadband capacity expansions with Softbank by the end of 2015. The firm has now commercially deployed vEPC in live networks supporting a variety of use cases, such as IoT, 5G, and Industry 4.0. Commercial deployments include mobile broadband use cases such as complete vEPC and user management deployed in a single COTS server for thousands of users to more traditional large-scale MBB operations with more than 10 million subscribers in tier 1 carriers across the world. The firm has customers, such as Softbank, Swisscom, Telkomcel, Telstra, Vodafone, and Zain, for such deployment.
The massive IoT packet core offers virtual EPC overlay designed for massive-IoT use cases and automation for efficient operations. The enterprise core vEPC offerings are focused on Industry 4.0 with critical enterprise deployments, such as in Telefonica, Telstra, Tampnet, and LG UPlus. Ericsson has been offering vEPC solutions to Vodafone Netherlands for VoLTE and Wi-Fi calling with both EPC and IMS fully virtualized. Ericsson has over 100 commercial vEPC customers by end of 2018.
Nokia offers a cloud packet core in its core network solutions, which integrates fixed wireline access into the 3GPP cloud-native core architecture for wireless and fixed convergence. The elements of the core include Cloud Mobility Manager (CMM) and Cloud Mobile Gateway (CMG). CMM has components such as MME/SGSN functions in the packet core and AMF in the 5G core standalone architecture. CMM controls SGSN/MME/AMF functional loads that responds to network conditions as per subscribers needs of capacity and coverage. The Nokia Cloud Mobile Gateway performs gateway and related functions within the packet core. The elements of the packet core is run on Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) environments using Virtual Machines (VMs). The CMM network function software can be run on standard cloud stack NFV environments using VMs, on containers-in-VMs, on containers-in-bare-metal, or on pre-integrated and modular server-based solutions. The Cloud Mobile Gateway can be deployed on pre-integrated and modular server-based appliances or cloud-native Virtualized Network Functions (VNFs). The use cases that are supported by the Nokia’s vEPC cloud packet core are Internet of Things/machine-type communications (NB-IoT/MTC) and 5G services.
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