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Juniper Networks 2023 Predictions: The Top Five Trends Service Providers Will See Take Shape in 2023


Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2023.  Read them in this 15th annual series exclusive.

The Top Five Trends Service Providers Will See Take Shape in 2023

By Sally Bament, Vice President of Cloud & Service Provider Marketing at Juniper Networks

This past year, we've seen the need for networks to keep pace with increasing complexities, growing traffic demands and heightened user expectations, all the while ensuring they are prepared for ‘what's next,' including new technologies like 5G and edge cloud, as well as potential unknowns. As businesses prepare for the future, we expect service providers to look for ways to capture the need for bandwidth, agility, automation and, above all, delivering a superior service experience.

To meet the needs of this evolving future, service providers will need to focus on new business models that reflect the need to reinvent network automation and cloud-delivered services to drive agility, seamless connectivity and assured service experiences while also fully embracing sustainability as a key priority for the future of networking. As service providers transform their network infrastructure, operations and services experience to meet future needs, here are a few key trends we expect will take shape in the year ahead.

Focus on Sustainability: In 2023, we will see sustainability become a top priority for service providers, especially in EMEA and North America. The industry will treat sustainability as a key factor in how vendors and service providers deliver their products and services, and how they operate. Moreover, we will see an increase in sustainability targets set by service providers and their suppliers, with many being mandated by the regulatory environments in which they operate. We also expect to see sustainability become an integral factor in service provider RFIs/RFPs, influencing decisions on vendor selection. We predict there will be a bigger focus on reducing power consumption in new and existing buildouts, especially with the more recent rising energy costs, giving suppliers who can address this efficiently a more significant advantage. There will also be a focus on longer system and product life to reduce e-waste and the industry will start talking about ‘green networking' more actively, and ‘design for sustainability' will be a crucial element in product development.

Metro networks will accelerate their much-needed transformation momentum: Metro networks are the future of new profitable and innovative services, and they are undergoing a much-needed transformation by operators. Emerging as a new solution category, reimagined metro networks - known as cloud metros - are built with operations, systems and architecture' attributes that are fundamentally different from the traditional metro. With emerging 5G and edge services increasing the need for these reimagined metro architectures, we will see a once-in-a-generation opportunity for service providers. As a result, operators will reinvent metro networks to fuel sustainable business growth and strengthen their position as key drivers of the emerging digital ecosystem.

Automation will transition from on-prem to as-a-Service consumption model centered around AIOps: The need to fundamentally reinvent how network automation is deployed and consumed will take shape, and the transition of network automation as a cloud-delivered and Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled model will emerge. Operators will start adopting the automation as-a-Service model to achieve business outcomes that deliver faster time-to-market and reduced operational complexity and costs.

Adoption of private 5G will gather momentum: Private 5G is poised to become a $5.7B industry by the end of 2024, according to industry observers. The majority of new enterprise mobile networks will be on private 5G in 2023. In addition to service providers, we will see more cloud providers entering the private 5G market equipped with fast and standardized delivery of private networks. Security, as well as AI/ML, will still be top of the agenda for enterprises embarking on private 5G. With the focus on automation and cloud-delivered services, new technologies like ORAN will start to feature in the private 5G discussions between operators, enterprises and vendors. We will see more trials for private 5G with the approach towards WiFi/wireless convergence along with WiFi for indoors and wireless for outdoors. Using the emergence of different ecosystems, enterprises will look at having a single pane of glass dashboard for managing their overall converged network.

ORAN strategies will continue to evolve: As many operators trial ORAN use cases, new go-to-market strategies will evolve in 2023. The players within the ecosystem will form a stronger bond and become more selective in their approach, with the RAN Intelligent Controller being the key component of ORAN. As a result, we will see more vendors making decisions to collaborate or compete in developing their RIC strategy, with most of the tier-1 operators having a more definite ORAN strategy within the year. Increasingly, the industry will start exploring the enterprise use cases with ORAN starting with Slicing and Service Management and Orchestration. Moreover, new business models will emerge based on the best practices from ORAN trials, which will enable the ecosystem to focus more on developing the high-value applications - xApps and rApps - for the RIC.



Sally Bament 

Sally Bament is vice president of cloud & service provider marketing at Juniper Networks, responsible for driving awareness, preference and demand for Juniper's industry-leading networking solutions. She brings over 25 years of experience in executive leadership, marketing, product management, business development and M&A in the networking, telecommunications and cloud industries.

Published Wednesday, November 23, 2022 7:33 AM by David Marshall
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