The business environment for telecom service providers is changing and growing more challenging and competitive. The pressure to innovate, offer new services, eliminate downtime, and meet the expectations of increasingly demanding customers who can easily change providers can seem overwhelming.

This is why many communications service providers (CSPs) are looking at NfV: network functions virtualization. With NfV, virtualization technologies are used to manage core networking functions via software as opposed to having to rely on hardware to handle these functions. Using NfV, virtualized network functions such as network security and firewalls, network address translation (NAT), domain name services (DNS), caching, and intrusion detection run in one or more virtual machines on top of the hardware networking infrastructure.

This benefits the telecom provider in a variety of ways, including:

1. Cost Savings

Virtualization means that less hardware must be purchased, reducing capital investments. It also means that less hardware must be supported and maintained, reducing operating expenses.

2. Flexibility

Cloud-based functions can be managed virtually, allowing 24/7 accessibility from remote locations. This allows a company to address issues at any time, from anywhere, improving service, reliability, and customer satisfaction.

3. Agility

Virtualized servers can be provisioned and decommissioned at a moment’s notice. NfV allows a company to become more agile, responding quickly in the face of changes in the business environment.

4. Speed

Networking services can be deployed rapidly in a virtualized environment. This allows a company to quickly take advantage of new opportunities, as well as accelerating time to market for new product and service offerings.

5. ROI

NfV helps to improve the return on investment for new products and services by accelerating time to market and providing for a robust, easily provisioned testing environment. It also improves ROI for existing products by reducing capital and operating expenses.

6. Reduced Risk

Flexible provisioning allows for network resources to be used for extended testing, reducing the risk associated with new product and service offerings. Moreover, virtualized services can support robust security measures, including simpler processes, encryption, and cost-effective monitoring.

7. Streamline and Modernize

Finally, NfV allows a telecom provider to access the benefits of new technologies. An operations-first approach helps to improve service and reliability, a cloud-based approach helps to improve efficiencies, and better flexibility and agility helps to encourage an innovative, collaborative culture.

NfV is a way for CSPs to modernize their businesses and take the next step toward the digital transformation of their organizations. Controlling costs while streamlining operations, improving products and services while reducing time to market, are all key factors in the long-term success of a business. By embracing NfV, companies can use virtualization technology to maximize resources and improve strategic results.