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BIG 5G Event
15-17 May, 2023
Austin Convention Center, Austin

The role of telco cloud

As the telco transformation journey continues, it becomes obvious that not all established strategies are fit for purpose and telcos need to rethink their approach in order to retain their position in the market. Big5G will explore the challenges and opportunities for telcos that are undergoing cloud transformation. From a more strategic level of building partnerships with hyperscalers and moving processes to the public cloud to more technical areas of the programmable network, multi-cloud migration, security and service assurance solutions.  

Telco Cloud at Big 5G

Public and multi-cloud

Programmable network

Partnerships with hyperscalers

Sustainability

Automation and AI

API implementation

Service assurance

Security

Telco network cloud stack for 2022–27 ($m)

A major driver of the demand for telco network cloud will be the softwarization of the mobile core. Running 4G core functions in VMs is relatively mature, and operators are now getting to grips with running 5G core functions as containerized workloads. This was also reflected in Omdia’s Telco Cloud Evolution Survey – 2022, in which over 60% of the survey respondents said they would need to package 5G core network functions in containers. 

What are the biggest barriers to running network functions on a public and/or private cloud?

Omdia asked the market to identify their top concerns with using public and/or private clouds to run network functions. The most common responses were security concerns (69%) and lack of skills internally (53%).  

For some time, telcos have cited security concerns arising thanks to multitenancy on public cloud infrastructure. The recent interest can be tied to securing containers that are considered more vulnerable compared with virtualized network function (VNF) deployments. Many telcos face challenges integrating modern security approaches such as DevSecOps while transforming internal operations. 

The telco network cloud market: Public cloud IaaS and CaaS

Omdia’s Hyperscaler Telco-Workload Tracker – 2022 report found that announcements regarding hosting core network functions in the public cloud were limited and mainly relate to 5G core. Virtualized RAN functions (e.g., DU and CU) are currently less prevalent, as are announcements related to 4G core. The challenges of running mobile core functions in the public cloud include traffic costs associated with elements such as the User Plane Function (UPF) and specific technical challenges, such as network tapping and load balancing.

Inderpreet Kaur

Senior Analyst

Omdia

“We predict that double-digit percentage growth will continue in 2024, driven by 5G and the virtualization of the radio access network (RAN). Overall, from 2022 to 2027, we forecast that the telco network cloud market will grow at a CAGR of 9%, from $13.1bn to $19.7bn. Upsides to these forecasts could exist if a greater proportion of network functionality migrates from the appliance to the software-based model over time.”

Supporting Resources

2023 Trends to Watch: Telco Cloud and Network Automation

2023 Trends to Watch: Service Provider Operations and IT

Telco Network Cloud Market Forecast Report 2022 - 2027

Upcoming Digital Events Include


  • The transition to cloud native computing and its benefits, webinar – 21 February
  • Edge Computing Digital Symposium, digital symposium – 21 March
  • Telco cloud evolution and operations transformation, webinar – 14 April
  • The Programmable Telco, Digital symposium – 10 May
  • The Role of Open Source in the Cloud, webinar – 27 June
  • Intelligent automation and OSS/BSS transformation, webinar – 21 September
  • Cloud monetisation, webinar – 10 October 
  • Enterprise Edge services: Opportunities and challenges for telcos, MSPs and IT service providers, webinar – 19 October 
  • Making hybrid & multi-cloud a strategic cloud architecture, webinar – 7 November 
  • Partnering at the edge: strengthening telcos beyond connectivity and the role of hyperscalers, digital symposium – 22 November