In 4Q19, Heavy Reading surveyed 77 communications service providers (CSPs) on their
plans for virtualization overall, and virtualized radio access networks (vRANs) specifically. A
lot has happened since then. A lot that could throw the carriers off course—like data centers
and central offices going zero-touch and lights-out virtually overnight. Heavy Reading
wanted to check in with the carriers and see how their plans had changed—either delayed or
accelerated—during the intervening year. We also wanted to explore how their plans for
virtual network functions (VNFs), including virtual firewalls, domain name systems (DNSs),
session border controls (SBCs)/IP multimedia subsystems (IMSs), virtualized 4G network
cores (or virtual evolved packet cores [vEPCs]), and vRANs, have evolved.
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