Mobile Packet Data Core Spend Totals US$ 42 Billion through 2021; NFV Accounts for Half

09 Jun 2016

ABI Research sees the NFV-based mobile packet data core ramping up this year and taking in more than half of the US$ 42 billion in packet data core spending through the end of 2021. The mobile networks are heading toward an IT and telecom convergence, and the entire packet core for 3G and 4G will increasingly turn to NFV virtualization and running on commercial IT gear. 

“As the initial LTE network build-outs wind down, increasing traffic and subscriptions place growing demands on the packet data core,” says Joe Hoffman, Managing Director and Vice President at ABI Research. “Network spend in this market will show a steady uptake. But as NFV virtualization gains ground, it will eventually drive an overall spend reduction as operators get conversant with network virtualization.”

Given swift growth of the NFV packet data core, operators will face the challenge of managing the transition to virtualized telecom networks in the months ahead. While they will continue to rely on primary infrastructure vendors to provide total system integration, ABI Research expects this to change once operators master this technology shift.

The firm therefore anticipates that infrastructure vendors will increase their professional service offerings to assist with this transformation, as well as managed service offerings to allow operators to focus on the other aspects of their business transformation brought on by virtualization. 

“Infrastructure vendors have before them an opportunity to help service providers with the transformation to the virtualized network of tomorrow,” concludes Hoffman. “This will probably be through the form of professional and managed services for the next few years. Operators can start small, with virtualization of packet core, IMS and VoLTE, or the Gi-LAN in select markets, and grow as they learn.”

These findings are from ABI Research’s Mobile Gateways. This report is part of the company’s Future Networks sector, which includes research reports, market data, insights, and competitive assessments.

# # #

About ABI Research

ABI Research stands at the forefront of technology market research, providing business leaders with comprehensive research and consulting services to help them implement informed, transformative technology decisions. Founded more than 25 years ago, the company’s global team of senior and long-tenured analysts delivers deep market data forecasts, analyses, and teardown services. ABI Research is an industry pioneer, proactively uncovering ground-breaking business cycles and publishing research 18 to 36 months in advance of other organizations. For more information, visit

About ABI Research

ABI Research is a global technology intelligence firm uniquely positioned at the intersection of technology solution providers and end-market companies. We serve as the bridge that seamlessly connects these two segments by providing exclusive research and expert guidance to drive successful technology implementations and deliver strategies proven to attract and retain customers.

ABI Research 是一家全球性的技术情报公司,拥有得天独厚的优势,充当终端市场公司和技术解决方案提供商之间的桥梁,通过提供独家研究和专业性指导,推动成功的技术实施和提供经证明可吸引和留住客户的战略,无缝连接这两大主体。

For more information about ABI Research’s services, contact us at +1.516.624.2500 in the Americas, +44.203.326.0140 in Europe, +65.6592.0290 in Asia-Pacific, or visit

Contact ABI Research

Media Contacts

Americas: +1.516.624.2542
Europe: +44.(0).203.326.0142
Asia: +65 6950.5670

Related Service