Telco cloud can be thought of as the platform (s) that enables Communication Service Providers (CSPs) to operate entirely from a software/virtualized standpoint, which is a trend in the age of 5G. So hyperscalers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure will be important players for CSPs that go the public cloud route. Other 5G telcos will develop their own proprietary cloud platform for customers, while some will choose a hybrid approach. With a telco cloud, operators focus more on delivering tailored services and industry-specific use cases instead of a one-size-fits-all solution. Not only do telcos have greater autonomy over their network, but 5G customers also aren't as locked in and can pick and choose solutions that fit their unique requirements.
If a CSP wants to add more 5G services or features to its existing lineup, a telco cloud software solution makes this process more painless as there's no need to upgrade equipment. Another key aspect of a telco cloud is the changing business philosophy that comes with it. As software replaces hardware, services and applications serve as the main basis for enterprise interest, while recurring revenue models become necessary for both telcos and the equipment vendors they partner with.
In the dawn of 5G, the telco cloud has proven to be crucial in delivering on the following:
To virtualize network services on the telco cloud, CSPs can leverage Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) to migrate functions that are typically executed on dedicated hardware over to virtual servers. This saves CSPs money on implementation and maintenance costs, as well as physical space in data centers. Moreover, NFV consumes less power than dedicated hardware and is easier to upgrade.
CSPs are expected to shop for multi-cloud capabilities for their 5G platforms as they adopt the public cloud for Information Technology (IT) applications and NFs. Further, 5G opens the door to many new telco features and services possibilities, which will result in CSPs leveraging the expertise of multiple vendors. Some other notable trends in the telco cloud market include the investment prioritization of easy-to-implement solutions, a preference for a consistent platform, and the convergence with distributed computing and Radio Access Networks (RANs)