Evolution of Cloud in the Telecom Wholesale Market – Development Trends, Growth Opportunities and Case Studies

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Cloud in the Telecom Wholesale Market Report Overview

Hyperscalers and communications cloud providers will continue to disrupt the traditional wholesale segment which is already facing inevitable change as new technologies differentiate players ahead of the game. Incumbent telecom and pure play wholesalers are currently strategically utilizing cloud technologies to deliver future wholesale services, but there needs to be a more concentrated effort, utilizing carriers unique capabiltiies in owning the network.

The Cloud in the Telecom Wholesale market research report provides an assessment of cloud trends within the telecom wholesale segment. The analysis and findings in this report are based on a detailed assessment of wholesale provider strategies, backed up by qualitative executive interviews with senior leads in the wholesale segment. Several case studies are presented, giving live examples within the industry, encompassing traditional telecom wholesalers, hyperscalers, cloud platform providers, and data center providers. The report provides an overview of the telecom wholesale market as well as the application of cloud in the market for the present and future.

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Telecom Wholesale Market Dynamics

A key contributing factor that influenced wholesale market stability was the growth in international voice traffic through partnerships between global providers and local country entities.

The telecom market experienced a slow-down in profits during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, telecom providers have been able to maintain a certain amount of stability due to strong voice and network connectivity demand, both at a consumer and business level due to a large percentage of the workforce moving to remote working even post the pandemic.

The traditional business model of wholesale carriers is changing, and like the telecom industry, wholesale carriers need to adopt new connectivity and monetization models to meet demand. A key factor impacting this is the uptake of OTT services from players such as Facebook and WhatsApp. More importantly, there is a breed of cloud communication platform providers delivering comprehensive B2B voice, data, and omnichannel services. As a result, traditional wholesale carriers must evolve in line with the growth of next-generation network services, particularly the adoption of cloud solutions.

Furthermore, the development of future wholesale portfolios (encompassing cloud) will result in the traditional telco wholesaler working within different players within the ecosystem.

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Use of Cloud in the Telecom Wholesale Market

Wholesalers are exploiting cloud across several service portfolio areas, i.e., private 5G in a box/5G cloud-native networks, CPaaS

Incumbent wholesalers will need to be operationally agile and create a portfolio of solutions that embraces cloud, AI/ML, data & analytics, security, and 5G/private networks. Digitalization across the wholesale market is apparent, but instead of initiatives being at a business-unit level, we now see digitalization initiatives driven more at a company-wide level. Moreover, incumbents are consolidating business units to reduce OpEx, creating greater agility and simplification, and more importantly, are creating better alignment with customers. There are several examples in the market with different levels of consolidation occurring that potentially could impact wholesale operations. The wholesale segment continues to implement cloud in the development and delivery of wholesale services, with consideration for open APIs and greater automation.

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Future Cloud Considerations in the Telecom Wholesale Market

Telco areas of consideration when partnering with hyperscalers include edge extensions, telco network functions, data intelligence, and cloud connectivity.

To create agility and greater alignment to future enterprise ecosystems, incumbent telcos should consider cloud enablement strategies that are interlinked across different operating business units, including wholesale. The key areas that can improve with telco cloud strategy are virtualized infrastructure/network functions, cloud connectivity, telco network edge, security, and privacy and data regulation (future).

Greater consideration must be taken in cloud partnerships to ensure network performance, integration, and alignment, particularly in future 5G settings, and when pushing more network functions to the cloud. Telcos must build the foundation of the cloud strategy with portfolio differentiation and revenue growth in mind as well as closely work with hyperscalers and cloud platform providers across the different areas of the cloud migration plan.

Telco Cloud Acceleration

Telco Cloud Acceleration

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Cloud in the Telecom Wholesale Market – Key Findings

Growth of the Wholesale Market: The telecom wholesale market has been in catch-up mode and continues to experience price pressures and lower-than-expected revenues due to various factors, such as the pandemic, geopolitics, and competition. However, discussions with leading wholesalers as part of this research highlighted that most of the businesses have remained stable post the pandemic.

Digitization, Automation, and Open APIs: Digitization, automation, and open APIs continue to be a key theme for incumbents and pure-play wholesalers. Automation and open APIs continue to be seen to improve tight margins, simplify processes/operations, and offer accessibility and flexibility on cloud-enabled services when connecting with third-party players (e.g., enterprise customers, cloud platform providers, and third-party carriers).

Cloud in the Telecom Wholesale Market - Latest Developments

Deutsche Telekom has, in 2023, conducted pilots in 5G cloud-native networks in collaboration with Ericsson’s 5G core network functions on Google Distributed Cloud (GDC) Edge in the company’s Austrian lab for 5G pilot. The pilot was able to successfully complete a 5G core standalone data call from setting up the connection and application on the infrastructure to call completion within minutes on GDC Edge infrastructure hosted at the Deutsche Telekom lab in Austria.


This report provides:

  • An assessment of market trends in telecom wholesale, providing an update on wholesale providers’ strategies and priorities with respect to portfolio and services.
  • Insights on the use of cloud solutions in telecom wholesale, examining the drivers for introduction and product areas.
  • Analysis of hyperscaler and cloud platform provider strategies, and how traditional telcos should position themselves.
  • Discussions and recommendations on what incumbent telecom wholesale providers should do to become more cloud-enabled in telecom wholesale.

Reasons to Buy

This Global Outlook Report ‘Evolution of Cloud in Telecom Wholesale’ provides an assessment of cloud trends within the telecom wholesale segment and provides an update on wholesaler portfolio strategies and priorities. In particular, the report provides –

  • Valuable insights and recommendations for traditional wholesale carriers on the critical considerations and strategic options for implementing cloud within wholesale.
  • The report’s case studies provide real examples of market approaches, business models, and portfolio roadmaps in relation to cloud-delivered products. Case studies are presented on incumbent carriers, cloud platform providers, hyperscalers, and data center providers.
  • The report also provides actionable recommendations for providers to consider when defining their cloud wholesale strategy.

Amazon Web Services
Deutsche Telekom
Juniper Networks
Liquid Telecom
Palo Alto Networks
PCCW Global
Saudi Telecom Company
Tata Communications
Telstra Global

Table of Contents

  • 1. Table of Contents
  • 2. List of Exhibits
  • 3. Executive Summary

    • 3.1. Executive Summary

  • 4. Section 1: Introduction & Objectives

    • 4.1. Introduction & Objectives

  • 5. Section 2: The Global Wholesale Market Landscape

    • 5.1. The Global Wholesale Market Continues to Maintain Momentum
    • 5.2. Increased Threat of New Players in the Wholesale Ecosystem
    • 5.3. Evolution of the Telecom Wholesale Ecosystem
    • 5.4. The Wholesale Ecosystem: Reconfiguring the Traditional Wholesale Business
    • 5.5. The Global Wholesale Market is Realigning to Demand

  • 6. Section 3: Use of Cloud Inin Wholesale

    • 6.1. Increased Telecom Business Unit Consolidation
    • 6.2. Wholesale Infrastructure Development Trends – 2023 Update
    • 6.3. Current Wholesale Portfolio and Growth Opportunities – 2023 Update

  • 7. Section 4: Future Cloud Considerations Inin Wholesale

    • 7.1. Cloud Enablement Across Telecoms, Including Wholesale
    • 7.2. Cloud Considerations When Partnering with Hyperscalers
    • 7.3. Telco and Hyperscaler Cloud Journey

  • 8. Section 5: Case Studies

    • 8.1. INCUMBENT CARRIER: Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier
    • 8.2. INCUMBENT CARRIER: Telefónica Global Solutions
    • 8.3. DATA CENTER: Equinix
    • 8.4. CLOUD COMMUNICATIONS: MessageBird
    • 8.7. HYPERSCALER: Amazon Web Services (AWS)

  • 9. Section 6: Key Findings and Recommendations

    • 9.1. Key Conclusions
    • 9.2. Key Recommendations

  • 10. Appendix

    • 10.1. Acronyms and Definitions
    • 10.2. Companies Mentioned

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