Telcos will on average invest $1 billion in the cloud during the next three to five years, according to a telecom cloud investment forecast from Capgemini.  

The investment will be driven by the ongoing migration of networks to the cloud. The firm found that 31% of global network capacity already is serviced by cloud platforms. That percentage will grow to 46% by the end of the five year period of the study.

The Capgemini Research Institute report, “Networks on Cloud: A Clear Advantage,” found that those who jump in are being rewarded. These service providers expect to recover 47% of their investment within the five-year period.

Researchers noted that Rakuten estimates that cloud-native architecture could create savings of 40% in capital expenditures and 30% in operational expenditures compared with a traditional LTE approach.

The report provides a lot of precise estimates. For instance, the telco cloud will grow by 50% during the next five years. The top three drivers are network scalability (52%), reduced network complexity (48%) and increased operational efficiency (39%). Ninety percent say that private cloud is the preferred deployment model.

According to the telecom cloud forecast, early adopters are focusing on research and development, cloud management and innovation. That group expects to recover 47% of their investment within five years, with those who come to the party later recovering only 34%.

Capgemini suggests a five point plan for providers jumping into the telco cloud. They should:

  • Devise a comprehensive strategy.
  • Aim for fast and efficient monetization of new services.
  • Gain innovation and agility by harnessing new talent and automation.
  • Form strategic partnerships in their ecosystem.
  • Couple cultural and technological transformation.

One service provider that has been particularly intent on using the cloud is Dish, which has been building a 5G network from scratch.

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