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This report presents a global assessment of the NFV market opportunity, forecasting NFV revenues from 2017–23. It provides a view of how the commercial development of NFV will prove useful for CSPs and vendors.


  • NFV is a huge benefit to CSPs of all sizes that struggle with the costs and constraints of legacy computing. CSP demand for virtualization of networks and IT is getting stronger as more vendors introduce automation into their virtualization portfolios.
  • There are many routes to network transformation through NFV. Some deployments are top-down, guided by a key wireless vendor partner, while others are organic, driven internally by the CSP.
  • Second-mover CSPs can no longer wait for early adopters to define successful NFV migration pathways. Researching virtualization vendors and building a strong partner ecosystem is the first step to getting out from under the operational cost pressures of legacy infrastructure.

Features and Benefits

  • Evaluates the benefits and challenges CSPs will experience with NFV.
  • Discusses what CSPs' top priorities are over the next year.

Key questions answered

  • What are the key market drivers for NFV?
  • How quickly is the market for NFVI, VNFs, MANO platforms, and NFV-based services growing?

Table of contents


  • In brief
  • Ovum view
  • Recommendations for service providers
  • Recommendations for vendors

The NFV environment

  • ETSI NFV framework
  • NFV framework vendors and organizations

Why CSPs are on a network transformation journey through NFV

  • CSPs are at different stages of the network transformation journey

NFV momentum is picking up now more than ever

  • Web-scale disruption
  • Cloud is now prioritized over infrastructure in network transformation

Global NFV market to reach $48bn in 2023

  • Forecast definitions
  • Market size

NFV market enablers

  • Traditional NFV promises are not going anywhere
  • CSPs are finally warming up to DevOps deployment
  • NFV paves the way for 5G opportunity

NFV market challenges for CSPs

  • Management complexities in an expanding multivendor environment
  • NFV orchestration
  • VNF onboarding challenges


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author

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