International Data Corporation (IDC) has issued its latest forecast for the worldwide virtual customer premises equipment (vCPE) market, predicting it will exceed US $3 billion by 2021.
Titled “Worldwide vCPE/uCPE Forecast, 2017–2021: NFV at the Network Edge”, the report covers the worldwide market for virtual CPE (vCPE), which includes network functions, like routing, security, and WAN optimization, delivered on virtual infrastructure (hardware), which is now referred in the industry as universal CPE (uCPE).
According to IDC, instead of using several physical hardware at the network edge, virtual CPE uses several virtual network functions on a single (or multiple) hardware devices.
According to the forecast, the worldwide virtual CPE market, both software and hardware, should exceed US $3 billion by 2021. The vCPE software market will grow from US $145.7 million in 2016 to US $2 billion in 2021 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 68.3 percent.
The vCPE hardware market, which ended up at US $67.8 million in 2016, is expected to reach US $1.16 billion in 2012 at a CAGR of 76.4 percent.
The same report suggests that the most significant driver of network function virtualization (NFV) at the network edge, or vCPE, will be digital transformation (DX), with enterprises using 3rd platform technologies, like cloud, big data and analytics, mobility, and more.
IDC also believes that software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) as well as general broader acceptance, and adoption, of software-defined networking (SDN), has been seen in the enterprise market. With virtualization, cloud management, and SDN gaining track in enterprise networks, vCPE will benefit and receive increasing consideration.
“A strong business case exists for network functions virtualization at the network edge — the deployment of virtual CPE/VNF software on commodity hardware,” said Rajesh Ghai, research director, Carrier Network Infrastructure. “While the short-term business benefit may be in the form of lower acquisition costs, the long-term business case rests on the advantages that accrue from simplicity, flexibility, and agility that it bestows on the enterprise or the service provider delivering the network service. This thought process underpins IDC’s market forecast for vCPE infrastructure in this report.”