The Future of Scalable Software-defined Access (SD-Access)

The telecommunications market is undergoing the most rapid shift in technology in its history as infrastructure migrates to a software-defined, programmable model that was pioneered by the leading cloud providers. How the leading telecommunications companies engineer and execute this transition will define their business success or failure for the next decade.

SDN and NFV technologies could, in theory, be used to create exciting new business models. Their flexibility and openness enable more integration with adjacent software technologies and a wider range of hardware, but will they be used for this? Or, will service providers retreat to their conservative and plodding mantra of, “We will launch no service before its time.”

Nowhere will this be more important than in the access network, the tendrils of bandwidth that connect the core of the network to the end user, where important consumer and business applications are accessed.

To succeed, service providers need to adopt the open platform model of the cloud – where the value of the software and applications is far more important than the actual network connection itself. Open and flexible technologies, such as SDN and NFV, were pioneered by Web-scale cloud providers like Amazon, Google, and Netflix, who needed to respond faster to rapidly scaling customer demands. By building open ecosystems, they were able to create compelling applications that drew users to their platforms.


ADTRAN is a leading global provider of networking and communications equipment. Our products enable voice, data, video and Internet communications across a variety of network infrastructures. Our solutions are currently in use by service providers, private enterprises, government organizations and millions of individual users worldwide.

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