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SDN appears to fit perfectly with international wholesalers’ demands for more efficient, more flexible network infrastructure. However, a lack of interoperable equipment, limited skillsets, and limited SDN interconnection are getting in the way.


  • Software-defined networking (SDN) has far more potential for international wholesalers than it is currently delivering. SDN delivers a flexibility of network control that should enable wholesalers to provide more flexible services to their customers, but the technology is still immature, equipment scarce, and uptake slow.
  • There are limited SDN use cases for international wholesalers. International carriers are focused on enterprise services rather than wholesale ones. The expansion of cloud-on-demand services to include connectivity is the primary use case.

Features and Benefits

  • Evaluates the potential role of SDN for international wholesalers and identifies the barriers to its widespread deployment.
  • Compares the approaches to SDN being taken by leading international wholesalers and identifies the drivers behind deployment.
  • Identifies what is required for SDN to become a mainstream technology choice for international wholesalers.

Key questions answered

  • What is SDN and what is its potential role in the development of international wholesale services?
  • Which international wholesalers are deploying SDN and why?
  • What are the barriers to the widespread deployment of SDN by international wholesalers?

Table of contents


  • In brief
  • Ovum view
  • Recommendations

SDN explained

  • SDN and NFV – related but different
  • The role of SDN in international wholesale
  • SDN use cases assessed

SDN realities for international wholesalers

  • Lack of equipment availability
  • Interconnection crucial for SDN success in international wholesale networks
  • Approaches to SDN by international wholesalers
  • The SDN business case


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author

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