It seems that CenturyLink is striving hard to become the fastest internet provider in the United States. According to recent reports, CenturyLink is making progress with the virtualization of their network and they have incorporated SDN and NFV technologies to sixty percent of their important Points of Presence (POPs) by the end of the year 2016. Besides that, they also recently set a high bar for the virtualization of all their points of presence.
Chairman and CEO of CenturyLink, Glen Post said to investors in the fourth quarter earnings call that they are planning to double the amounts of POPs they have virtualized in the coming two years. “We plan to have 100% of those [POPs] virtualized by the end of 2019,” Post said. “We also have almost 50% of our network capabilities currently controlled through our SDN network.” He also said that CenturyLink has “virtualized WAN service availability, virtualized interconnect between VPN customers, just a number of virtualization steps we’ve taken.”
By virtualizing more of their POPs, CenturyLink said that they would be able to get capex savings while improving and enhancing the experience of the customers. “Once we complete those, we expect to save over $200 million a year in capex,” Post said. “By about 2019, we expect those to complete, and we expect significant savings there. We expect major opex cost savings as a result of this virtualization of the SDN, NFV network builds.”
However, reducing the capex and opex are just two benefits that CenturyLink will get from the virtualization of their networks. Implementation of NFV and SDN will help them to have new revenue opportunities, as with the implementation, they will be able to offer new capabilities like the ability to reach broad array business users and network on demand services. The array of business customers also include those customers that are not in the serving area of CenturyLink.
“The customers can control their own destiny to a certain degree in how they distribute their bandwidth, for instance,” Post added. “It enables us to cover a lot more businesses. When you virtualize, you can go outside your current territories to many more businesses than you otherwise could reach.”
Post further stated that “a large amount of those were business we could not previously sell to.” It is reported that by having virtualization across sixty percent of their POPs, CenturyLink will be able to reach 4.8 million businesses and will become one of the best internet providers in the US.