Network Transformation Critical to Survival, Say Communications Service Providers

New research says improved customer experiences, stronger cybersecurity, enhanced competitive positioning and AI are top drivers for open networks.

Network cloud transformation is a critical path that communications service providers (CSPs) must take to grow their businesses. And according to a new MeriTalk study, underwritten by Dell Technologies, CSPs agree.

In fact, nine out of 10 CSPs take it a step further and say network transformation is critical to their organization’s survival. Why? CSPs believe network transformation can improve customer experiences, strengthen cybersecurity, allow them to integrate AI and differentiate their networks in a highly competitive market.

So, if CSPs agree network transformation is critical, why do 96% of CSPs surveyed say their network transformation vision is lagging, holding them back from giving their customers an ideal network experience?

The new MeriTalk report, “Network Cloud Transformation – Global Insights for CSPs,” draws on insights from 450 executives from a mix of large and small CSPs across North America, Europe and Asia/Pacific. According to CSPs, the time needed to upgrade, performance/reliability concerns and security concerns are among the top impediments when transitioning to an ideal customer network.

Here are a few more stats to consider:

    • According to the report, 88% of CSPs agree an open network architecture is necessary to be a best-in-class provider, yet only one in five (22%) report having an open architecture strategy today.
    • Just 50% describe their approach to legacy transformation as “aggressive” over the past three years.
    • Further, 83% report that monetizing IoT services is a key focus for their organization’s business strategy, but over half–55%–say their industry is not adapting fast enough to meet the demands of the edge.

Overall, it’s clear that CSPs know what they need to do, but an emerging theme is that they don’t yet have the strategies and tools in place to get started on telecom network transformation. And we agree, getting started is the hardest part.

That’s why we’re collaborating across the telecom ecosystem and in our Dell Telecom Ecosystem Lab to build on industry partnerships and design integrated, tested and reliable solutions that enable network cloud transformation. We’re partnering alongside CSPs to help them achieve what the research says they want to do: enable network transformation to drive business growth and better customer experiences.

Our goal is to flip this study on its head. 100% of CSPs that say they want to reap the benefits of network cloud transformation should be able to do so. Developing a strategy is the first step. And we’re here to take that step with you. Learn more at and reach out to your local sales representative.

The report is based on a survey of 450 telecom decision-makers at communication service providers conducted in January and February 2024, with equal representation (33%) across three regions: North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The resulting research has a margin of error of ±4.57% at a 95% confidence level. To review the full findings, view the report.

Doug Wolff

About the Author: Doug Wolff

Doug Wolff joined Dell Technologies in 2018 as Industry CTO for Telecom and is currently Head of Strategy and Planning for the Telecom Systems Business. Doug has 30+ years of experience in the Telecom & Wireless Industries in various technology, business development and product management leadership positions. Doug is currently focused on the Telecom market and the emerging 5G+/6G, Open RAN, Private Mobility, Cloud Native Network Transformation and Edge Computing technologies and ecosystem strategy for the Telecom Systems Business. Previous role as VP Product Development at Elefante Group from 2017-2018. VP/CTO at Ericsson from 2012-2017. GM/VP for LTE Product Line & Solutions at Alcatel Lucent from 2009-2012. Nortel GM/VP CDMA Product Line from 2004-2009. Prior to this role held various product management, business development and R&D positions at Nortel, M/A-COM, Motorola and Northrop DSD.