The demand for a converged service layer (CSL) by operators has increased, according to telecoms software provider OpenCloud's survey.
The survey was conducted by Heavy Reading and polled operators from Asia Pacific, Europe, and North America.
Telecom operators commonly run multiple cellular, Wi-Fi and wire-line access networks concurrently and face the challenge of providing consistent set of services across their network state. CSL, on the other hand, enables real-time voice and video-calling telecom services independent of the access network technology.
According to the survey, over three quarters of the respondents will deploy CSL architecture by 2018.
In addition, more than a third of the operators polled said CSL architecture is "critical" to the delivery of services across different types of access networks with 46 percent considering CSL as an "important" component to achieve this goal.
"The survey results clearly demonstrate an active and growing interest in a converged service layer architecture that can serve multiple legacy and new access networks. With a converged service layer, operators have the ability to deliver real-time voice and video-calling services regardless of the access network technology, meaning services may be delivered over 2G, 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi and in the future 5G connections," explained Jonathan Bell, VP Marketing at OpenCloud.
The survey identified the introduction of network function virtualisation (NFV) as key driver of CSL deployment by more than half of the operators. Almost half of the respondents (48 percent) also said migration to NFV offered an opportunity to introduce CSL into their networks.
In addition to NFV migration, up to a third of operators adopt CSL because of service agility or service introduction. The move to 4G and 5G technologies and standards (58 percent); and reductions to Capex (60 percent) and Opex (51 percent) were cited as key drivers to embracing CSL, as well.
When choosing a CSL specialist, more than half of the respondents (52 percent) said virtualisation and control-plane experience are important criteria besides complimenting with NFV.
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