Telecoms and cloud service providers are gearing up for two of the largest functional changes in decades: The Internet of Things (IoT) which is happening now and 5G which is on the horizon. Both will require substantial investments in capital and operations for today’s networks to be competitive and thrive in this connected future. No single vendor can deliver the full stack, and proprietary technologies will not keep pace with these future needs. This transformation will be delivered in virtualized (not physical) technologies, open source and multivendor, relying on significant integration work across many in the industry to be successful. Chinese players like China Mobile, Huaweiand ZTEare emerging as leaders in this space, through something not traditionally expected from the region: global collaboration.
OPNFV is an initiative from the Linux Foundation that is working on the interoperability and integration of these virtual components, referred to as virtual network functions (VNFs), into a platform called network function virtualization (NFV).