With Dell’Oro Group’s extensive coverage of the telecommunications, networks, and data center IT industries, we are able to identify important trends requiring additional analysis. The Advanced Research reports supplement our quarterly market share and 5-year forecasts reports with additional research and insight into these important trends.



The pace of change in the wireless industry is faster today than it has ever been before. While it is easy to look at recent mobile data growth trends and predict that data growth is slowing down, more than likely, we are just in the early beginnings of a complete transformation in how humans and computers will communicate with one another. The rapid shift from voice-centric to data-centric applications introduces both challenges and opportunities for the carriers that need affordable, efficient, and adaptable networks that can address all the use cases for connected humans and machines both today and in the future.

Mobile revenue growth has for the most part kept up with mobile capital expenditures (Capex) since the smartphone boom started in 2007. However, higher device penetration, lack of new revenue streams, and increased competition in both developing and developed markets have caused worldwide mobile revenue growth to decelerate in the last couple of years, forcing the carriers to use Capex more efficiently.

For the most part, carriers have been able to cope with the explosion in mobile data traffic and the various use cases. However, given that we are still in the first phase of the overall mobile broadband transformation and base transceiver station density is very high in urban areas, with virtually limitless opportunities as use cases move beyond the smartphone, carriers are increasingly embracing the notion that there can be no shortcuts when it comes to network performance and agility.

Our C-RAN (centralized/coordinated radio access network) Report looks at the RAN architecture that moves the baseband unit (BBU) to a central location, connecting the BBU to the radios via fiber or microwave (fronthaul). The objective of centralizing the baseband is to improve the performance and use resources more efficiently and dynamically.

The Report answers such questions as:

  • Which vendors are best equipped to benefit from C-RAN?
  • How much equipment revenue will C-RAN radios and fronthaul generate over the next five years?

The Report includes a 5-year forecast looking at RAN and Baseband (separately reported by small cell versus macro cell), Fronthaul, and worldwide mobile wireless subscribers by technology and regions.

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Data Center SDN

Virtualization has changed where and how applications are connected to end users. Traffic generated by machine-to-machine connections is surging, yet the typical network architecture and network products are still optimized for user-to-server connections. 2015 is a significant year as many manufactures have brought their new core switches to market that incorporate the software defined networking (SDN) architecture – where the controller and management software functions have been separated from the switch hardware. As the management and control functions from the physical Ethernet switch separate, server, storage and application manufacturers will have the opportunity to battle for supremacy in the data center.

Dell’Oro Group recently published another edition of Advanced Research: Data Center SDN Report (previously referred to as “Data Center Disruptors”) which evaluates the data center network and identifies the equipment which will likely be impacted by SDN in the next several years, including Ethernet Switch, Application Delivery Controller, and Network Security Appliance. The Report also outlines the disruptive elements to the Ethernet Switch market in the data center, including SDN, Cloud, Virtualization, and the impact of White Box Switch manufactures, while answering questions, such as:

  • How will the transition of server connectivity create opportunities for new entrants as well as traditional vendors?
  • Which port speed (10 Gbps, 40 Gbps, 100 Gbps) will have the most growth over the next five years?
  • How fast is enterprise customer spend on networking equipment changing?
  • What is the vendor placement in the data center Ethernet Switch market for equipment manufacturers such as Arista, Brocade, Cisco, Dell, Extreme, Hewlett-Packard, Huawei, and Juniper?

The Report includes a 5-year forecast on SDN in the data center, Ethernet switches in the data center (both by platform type and port speeds) and historical equipment manufacturer share.

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Ethernet Switch Deployment Location

Our Ethernet Switch Deployment Location Report provides an in-depth analysis of the Ethernet Switch market, covering the four largest sub-segments of Data Center, Enterprise, Small and Medium Businesses (SMB), and service providers (SP), to better understand the fundamental drivers behind a market that now exceeds $23B a year. This is our fourth installment of this research report in which we evaluate vendor performance and market evolution.

As the Ethernet Switch market expanded from $11B in 2003 to $19B in 2008, it grew fairly evenly across all segments.  However, since 2010, when the market recovered from the global downturn, most of the growth in switch revenue has been in the data center.

The shift from even growth across the board to a single segment driving the Ethernet Switch market is affecting vendors in two ways.  First, vendors that currently have more exposure in the data center will likely increase their shares as the overall market becomes more data-center focused; and second, vendor share will be affected by ever-disparate requirements. Disparate requirements will force many vendors to specialize in certain segments or to partner with other vendors to offer customers complete portfolios. Despite projected market growth, we believe the addressable market for many vendors will actually decline, as most vendors will not be able to compete in all areas of the market with the same effectiveness as in the past.

The Report answers such questions as:

  • How big are the Data Center and Enterprise markets for Ethernet switches?
  • How are the vendors performing in each segment?
  • How are customers deploying speeds differently in each segment?

The Report includes a 5-year forecast on Ethernet switch port speeds (100 Mbps, 1 Gbps, 10 Gbps, 25 Gbps, 40 Gbps, 50 Gbps, and 100 Gbps), revenue, port shipments and average selling price for each segment plus 5 years of historic equipment manufacturer share.

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Mobile Backhaul

Mobile backhaul is the networking equipment deployed to carry voice, text, and data over the cellular infrastructure.  Backhaul originates with radio access network (RAN) equipment at the cell site.  Its next destination is the equipment in the mobile core, where it is further processed and sent to its final destination.  Historically, the RAN processed only voice traffic. As technology has evolved and the bandwidth available to users increased, data-centric devices emerged and began to utilize ever-increasing quantities of bandwidth.  In most cases the equipment required for mobile backhaul is owned or leased by a service provider (SP).

The Report answers such questions as:

  • What segments are the primary growth drivers for the market?
  • Which technologies will drive changes in mobile backhaul?
  • Which region has the potential for revenue growth over the next five years?

The Report includes a 5-year forecast looking at the following segments:

  • Transport – Microwave equipment and Fiber/Copper equipment such as PON, DSL and Optical Transport
  • Routers and Carrier Ethernet Switches
  • Cell Site Devices (radio access network equipment)
  • Worldwide mobile wireless subscribers by technology and regions

The report includes revenue, units/backhaul links and average selling price.

News release:

Network Functions Virtualization

Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) is a movement that started in October 2012 and is being driven by the telecommunications service provider (SP) community.  NFV enables certain network functions to be consolidated and performed on standard IT virtualization technology rather than on specialized, dedicated networking equipment.  The vision of NFV is to dramatically change how networks are architected and operated in the future.

The objectives of NFV were developed to counteract financial and competitive pressures. From a financial perspective, SPs seek to reduce capital expenditures and operational expenses plus grow service revenue.  NFV will also change the way vendors generate revenue for network equipment.  NFV will lead to a product pricing structure that has a significant software component.  Vendor revenue will shift from a hardware-based shipment model to software license deferred model

Our NFV Report strives to track progress across a broad range of technologies and to highlight the emerging trends and developments of this rapidly changing movement, such as addressing the recent emergence of carrier software defined networking. We believe that NFV is part of a long-term evolution of telecom operator networks and businesses. We take a take a holistic view of how technologies, operations, and business models are evolving on the path to creating a complete NFV platform.

Our senior analysts collaborate to combine their deep understanding of network equipment markets to assess what is driving decisions for NFV development, adoption, and deployment.

The Report answers such questions as:

  • Will open source be used for NFV products?
  • What are the important technologies for NFV?
  • What are the long-term financial implications for SP capital expenditures, operation expenses, and revenue?
  • When will NFV have a material impact for SPs and equipment manufacturers?
  • How can equipment manufacturers generate revenue from blending traditional network equipment with virtualization software?

Our Report also includes quantitative tables on the worldwide NFV market and worldwide mobile and broadband subscribers.


Small Cell

Since the first 1G radio access system was commercialized, operators have relied on three strategies to expand network coverage and capacity: improving spectral efficiency, utilizing additional spectrum, and densifying the network. However, there is a limit to the upside and overall sustainability of the legacy approach.  Deployment of small cells is now widely recognized as an important next step for operators to embrace.

Our Small Cell Report provides a comprehensive overview of the total Small Cell market as it pertains to small cells deployed in enterprise and public access networks by service providers (SP).  We believe that while the radio is an essential component of small cells, the mobile backhaul and use of WiFi are equally important to our understanding the Small Cell market. Our Report discusses and provides estimates of the radio access network (RAN), backhaul, and SP WiFi segments by leveraging the experience and research on which we regularly report in our five-year forecasts of the mobile RAN, Mobile Backhaul, and Wireless LAN markets.

The Report answers such questions as:

  • Which technology area has the most growth potential?
  • How fast will the total Small Cell market grow between today and 5 years from now?
  • Which part of the Small Cell market has the biggest projected revenue?

The Report includes a 5-year forecast on technologies that make up small cells (including WCDMA, LTE, Backhaul and SP WiFi) with revenue, port shipments and average selling price for each segment.


Single Reports

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