As service providers seek service agility and operational efficiency in their networks to stay competitive, the global market for carrier software-defined networking (SDN) software, hardware and services is expected to grow from $103-million in 2014 to $5,7-billion in 2019, according to IHS.
“We’re still early in the long-term, 10- to 15-year transformation of service provider networks to SDN. Momentum is strong, but we won’t see widespread commercial deployments where bigger parts of — let alone whole — networks are controlled by SDN until 2016 through 2020,” says Michael Howard, senior research director for carrier networks at IHS.

Additional carrier SDN market highlights include:

* SDN software – including network apps, such as traffic analytics, and orchestration and controller software – is the critical piece that will convert a network into a software-defined network;

* IHS predicts service providers around the world will increase their spending on SDN software by 15 times from 2015 to 2019;

* Due to the newness of SDN technology and the fundamental changes it brings to networks, there is an incredible demand for expertise to design, deploy and operate SDN-based services, and carriers are looking to vendors for this expertise; and

* IHS expects outsourced services for SDN projects to grow at a 2014-2019 compound annual growth rate of 199%.