LightCounting: the rise of disaggregated white box routers for wireless infrastructure

LightCounting’s new report explores the emergence of the Disaggregated Open Routers (DOR) [1.] market in wireless infrastructure. DOR are white-box cell site, aggregation and core routers based on an open and disaggregated architecture for existing 2G/3G/4G and future 5G network architectures.

Note 1.disaggregated router is an open approach to routing where the customer can choose hardware and software from a range of vendors that best meets their needs. This open approach enables innovation, avoids vendor lock-in, and drives cost down.  The hardware is provided by a whitebox vendor while the software is mostly proprietary from vendors like Israel’s Drivenets.

“Still incipient, the DOR market is just about to take off and is here to stay but requires more CSPs (Communications Service Providers) to take the plunge and drive volumes. And with China’s lack of appetite for DOR, North America is taking the lead,” said Stéphane Téral, Chief Analyst at LightCounting Market Research.

SOURCE: LightCounting

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The major findings in the report are:

  • The Open RAN ascension brought router disaggregation to the spotlight and paved the way to 4 fundamental routes. This phenomenon would have never happened without TIP’s DOR initiative [2].
  • Although NOS software vendors are mushrooming and by far outnumbering the white box hardware suppliers, one vendor dominates the networking silicon domain.
  • Communications service providers (CSPs) remain cautiously optimistic about router disaggregation but have yet to see more maturity and the full benefits because an onslaught of software can boost OPEX.
  • With all inputs from all vendors and CSPs with DOR rollout plans taken into consideration, our cell site-based model produced a forecast showing a slow start that reflects the early stage of this market and an uptick at the end of the 2021-2026 forecast period marked by a double digit CAGR.

Note 2.  Telecom Infra Project (TIP)’s  Disaggregated Open Routers (DOR) group is led by KDDI and Vodafone.  The DOR project group is part of TIP’s Open Optical & Packet Transport (OOPT) Group.  The DOR group will focus on open and disaggregated routing platforms for transport networks and will drive technological development toward white box solutions for backbone networks including aggregation routers and open BNGs.

The Telecom Infra Project (TIP) is a global community of companies and organizations working together to accelerate the development and deployment of open, disaggregated, and standards-based solutions that deliver the high-quality connectivity that the world needs – now and in the decades to come. Founded in 2016 by Deutsche Telekom, Intel, Facebook, Nokia and SK Telecom, TIP has grown into a diverse membership that includes hundreds of member companies – from service providers and technology partners, to system integrators and other connectivity stakeholders.

LightCounting’s Disaggregated Open Routers report explores the emergence of the Disaggregated Open Routers (DOR) market. Disaggregated open routers are white-box routers based on separated white box hardware and software with cloud enabled software functions for existing 2G/3G/4G and future 5G network architectures. The report analyzes the disaggregated open routers’ (aggregation and core) architectures and implementations in wireless infrastructure, including the emerging vendor ecosystem, and tracks white box hardware units and sales, and software sales, all broken down by region including North America, Europe Middle East Africa, Asia Pacific, and Caribbean Latin America. It includes the total number of cell sites worldwide and a 5-year market forecast. As this market is just emerging, it is too early to publish vendor market shares.

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More information on the report is available at: https://www.lightcounting.com/products/DOR/

https://www.lightcounting.com/stephane-teral-perspective/when-all-disaggregation-routes-lead-core-network/

https://www.metaswitch.com/blog/signing-up-to-telecom-infra-projects-disaggregated-open-router-initiative

One thought on “LightCounting: the rise of disaggregated white box routers for wireless infrastructure

  1. Thanks for sharing such an informative piece from LightCounting with points that I previously did not realize. I will definitely be doing further research on disaggregated white box routers.

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