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Mobile Operators Invest in Open Virtualization Platforms

As more people adopt using mobile internet access on a regular basis, broadband service providers continue to build-out their infrastructure to support the increase in predictable network traffic. Other related infrastructure investment is being aligned with anticipated market demand.

ABI Research finds IMS Core Network deployments are edging up as mobile network operators put the necessary infrastructure and capacity in place for planned 2014 VoLTE launches.

Spending for the core network products (HSS, CSC, Media Controllers and Gateways, MSF, IBCF, SBC and P-CSCF) integral to a functioning IMS network will reach $4 billion by 2017.

"We see increasing IMS Core Network revenues through 2017, after which IMS revenues will flatten and reflect capacity expansion," said Joe Hoffman, research director at ABI Research.

IMS spending for mobile 4G markets follows the LTE deployments, as mobile network operators seek to get their network coverage in place, stabilized, and compatible mobiles for VoLTE become available.

According to ABI's assessment, the leading LTE market -- North America -- will peak during 2015 to 2016, while the largest market, Asia-Pacific shows continued growth into the foreseeable future.

Service provider data center network-related virtualization will be widespread, since much of the IMS solution is delivered on x86 architecture and works on open bare-metal or virtualized platforms.

While the IMS driver is clearly VoLTE, operators will also find competitive advantage with a standardized, network-integrated solution that can also deliver superior user experience for WebRTC and OTT services under network congestion.

"Many operators will take a wait-and-see attitude as they already have 3G and CSFB for voice," continues Hoffman, "but they will quickly comprehend the monetization advantage with 4G and Voice, and adjust their strategies."

Put simply, the whole realm of traditional mobile network service provider infrastructure is moving to all-IP, where 4G / IMS / VoLTE is the standard migration path for the vast majority.

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