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As 2020 approaches, network providers continue to wrestle with industry transformation and competitive disruption.


  • On the surface, enterprise NFV services seem a commercial disappointment. But conversations with IT executives reveal virtual network functions (VNFs) play important, high-value roles.
  • SD-WAN standardization does not make platforms compatible. But the common language and framework will help providers add and support a wider range of vendor SD-WAN platforms more easily.
  • The advent of 5G millimeter wave has potential to take the roof off capacity, on par with the current generation of wireline broadband services. The industry can watch first mmWave attempts in the US to evaluate commercial success.

Features and Benefits

  • Identify key trends that Ovum highlights as important in enterprise network services leading for 2020.
  • Learn where Ovum believes providers will close gaps and improve commercial NFV available offers and features.
  • Assesses the potential for SD-WAN to interact with LAN-side IT platforms to influence their applications policies.

Key questions answered

  • What are the key drivers in enterprise services leading into 2020?
  • What is the state of NFV services and the significance of the slow uptake of CPE-based enterprise NFV?
  • What is the significance of SD-WAN standardization in the industry, and what might be next steps for SD-WAN?
  • What is the state of 5G millimeter wave services, and does this access service have potential to become a primary networking option?
  • What is the state of MPLS going forward, and how does internet displacement of MPLS appear to be playing out?

Table of contents


  • Catalyst
  • Ovum view
  • Key messages


  • Recommendations for enterprises
  • Recommendations for service providers and vendors

NFV produces real value despite industry frustrations over slow rollout

  • Success as an anywhere tool, not yet as an everywhere staple
  • NFV environments are closing shortfalls, opening new options

SD-WAN standardization has few direct enterprise effects but enables a tectonic market shift

  • Indirect benefits of standardization
  • Software and cloud services may begin linking to SD-WAN controllers

5G is ready to take its place among business broadband technologies

  • Stars are aligned to mainstream US microwave access
  • Millimeter wave still presents challenges

MPLS slippage as business internet steps up

  • Cloud has encouraged more tolerant applications


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author