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Network transformation has been underway for six years now, with NFV underpinning of number of the efforts. In this report, Ovum presents a global assessment of the NFV market opportunity, forecasting NFV revenues from 2018–24.


  • Carrier spending on NFV software and services will reach $48bn by 2024. Although 5G and commercially managed NFV services draw public attention, carriers have shifted their purchasing to implement NFV across their network operations.

Features and Benefits

  • Evaluates the drivers for CSP spend on NFV software and services.
  • Assesses the challenges operators will still face in 2020 as the industry approaches 5G commercialization.

Key questions answered

  • What the is market size for CSP spend on NFV software and services?
  • What are the most anticipated NFV use cases CSPs are prioritizing in their NFV investments?

Table of contents


  • In brief
  • Ovum view
  • Recommendations for service providers
  • Recommendations for vendors

The NFV environment

  • ETSI NFV framework
  • NFV framework vendors and organizations

Global NFV market to reach $49bn in 2024

  • Forecast definitions
  • Market size

NFV market enablers

  • Containers are here, but will coexist with VMs in the short-term
  • Network slicing proposition

NFV market challenges for CSPs

  • Do the benefits outweigh the security risks NFV presents?

Looking ahead to 2020

  • 5G core announcements will ramp up


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author