SDN could save operators $4 billion

Software Defined Networking (SDN) could save operators an estimated $4 billion in capex by 2017, according to a survey conducted by Strategy Analytics.

The survey, sponsored by Tellabs, revealed the value of SDN in mobile backhaul networks, with savings emerging from five different SDN applications: metro aggregation/load redistribution, local breakout/internet IXP, small cells, cloud RAN and Wifi offload/video redirect.

Strategy Analytics identified a $9.2 billion “backhaul gap” in a report earlier this year, and claims these SDN applications could almost halve this shortfall.

“The largest single saving in capital expense value terms will come from metro aggregation/load redistribution,” the survey said.

“This application could contribute savings of $96 million in 2013, rising to $1,116 million in 2017.”

The report also discovered regional savings using SDN, highlighting Asia Pacific as showing the most significant backhaul funding shortfall, making it the region most likely to benefit from SDN.

Estimated savings for Asia Pacific by 2017 came to $2,662 million, with North America and Western Europe estimated to save $599 million and $574 million respectively.

“Until now, we’ve seen little quantification to support SDN business cases for service providers,” said Dan Kelly, CEO and president at Tellabs.

“The Strategy Analytics report provides solid evidence and examples to demonstrate SDN’s true value to customers... we plan to incorporate SDN functionality into the Tellabs 8000 intelligent network manager, and into Tellabs 8600 and Tellabs 7100 products, early in 2014.”

2013 has seen a significant increase in SDN service launches from major players such as Huawei, NTT and Alcatel-Lucent.