Gartner: 4 “Cool Vendors” for Communications Service Provider Network Operations

Communications service providers’ (CSPs) network virtualization, programmability and automation will demand innovation and a broader spectrum of suppliers. CSPs must select suppliers that offer such solutions to improve network agility, performance and efficiency.  What are cool vendors?
  • Cool Vendors for communications service provider (CSP) operational technology (OT)create new value by developing faster and more cost-effective solutions, as well as embedding open and API-driven architecture to accelerate ecosystem creation.
  • These vendors provide network- and vendor-agnostic solutions that CSPs can use to gain network-related insights, modernize their operations and automate to enhance operations efficiency.
  • Cool Vendors tend to be more aligned to CSPs’ transformation objectives as compared with many established vendors, because Cool Vendors are not guided by any legacy business.
The vendors differ from their competitors in that they create new value, solve difficult problems and provide cost-efficiencies as shown in Table 1. for four cool vendors profiled.

Table 1: Cool Vendors in CSP Operational Technology

Vendor
Approach to Create New Value
Solve a Difficult Problem
Provide Cost-Efficiency
Actility
Provides tools, platforms and an ecosystem for monetization of IoT beyond just connectivity
Enables scaling up of IoT deployments up to national level networks
Reduces M2M application development overhead with ThingPark IoT management platform and LoRaWAN IoT support
DriveNets
Provides disaggregated, cloud-native software that runs the routing on white boxes using merchant silicon chipsets
Provides economics and flexible scale. Simplifies network operations, and reduces time to market of services.
Reduces TCO for router capacity scale
Federated Wireless
Provides novel shared-spectrum ecosystem by harnessing cloud-native software solution
Provides reliable connectivity without expertise and resources
Reduces spectrum acquisition costs
Sensat
Creates 3D map and digital twin of physical environment for infrastructure planning
Applies ML to physical network design to achieve spatial optimization and network efficiency
Reduces network design costs
IoT = Internet of Things; LoRaWAN = long-range wide-area network; M2M = machine-to-machine; ML = machine learning; TCO = total cost of ownership
Source: Gartner (May 2020)
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These vendors are cool because they enable CSPs with futuristic network infrastructure elements and operations solutions for digital transformation. As shown in Table 1, the featured vendors enable CSPs to develop:
  • Innovation in infrastructure by disaggregation, virtualization and cloud native:
    • Actility, DriveNets and Federated Wireless
  • Innovation in operations by resource optimization, platform operations and network automation:
    • Sensat
Each of these two elements by the Cool Vendors mentioned in this research is important for CSPs’ future operations and business models. See Predicts 2020: 5 Key Trends for CSPs’ Digital Growth for more on scaling transformation needs (available by subscription only).
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