The objective of this study is to prospect in the unexplored area of technological and socio-economic impact of software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualisation (NFV). It is supposed to elaborate on the future impact of 2 possibly game-changing technologies in terms of time-frames to (stepwise) deployment, migration paths from existing technologies, potential impact on business models, innovation potential including new stakeholders profiting from the ongoing developments, general market potential and their positioning within the current and future telecommunications regulatory framework.

The European Commission has launched a call for tenders for a study on the "Implications of the emerging technologies Software-Defined Networking and Network Functions Virtualization on the future Telecommunications landscape". The study will structure and research the so far rather unexplored area of technological and socio-economic-regulatory impact of Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV).

More precisely, the study should achieve the following objectives (which are each associated with a set of tasks described in details in the Tender specifications document, section "Tasks"). Since the different objectives are interlinked it may not always be possible to clearly separate them and treat them in isolation.

a) Identify the most likely deployment scenarios including associated timelines and possible migration paths from existing networking technologies;

b) Identify current and new usage scenarios of SDN- and NFV-based networks including trends and possible new services;

c) Assess the impact of SDN and NFV on existing business models in the telecommunications sector and identify their innovation potential in terms of possible new business models with current and new stakeholders;

d) Assess the general market/industrial potential for SDN and NFV

e) Position SDN and NFV within the current and future telecommunications regulatory framework and in relation to growth opportunities.

The reports (deliverables) produced by the study should be drafted taking into account that the target audience includes policy makers and is not limited to technology specialists.

 

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