ABI Research predicted revenue from the network-as-a-service (NaaS) sector to surpass $75 billion by 2030, but noted operators must build up their service-architectures and network scalability to secure leading positions.

The research company believes operators must implement go-to-market strategies for the NaaS as they face competition from interconnection providers including Megaport and PacketFabric, and hyperscale cloud providers Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services.

In a report, ABI Research stated just less than 90 per cent of enterprises will move at least 25 per cent of their global network infrastructure into a NaaS model by 2030.

Reece Hayden, distributed and edge computing analyst, stated operators needed to seize the opportunity to dominate the NaaS market, but “currently their investment strategy, business, operational, and go-to-market models are not ready to deliver a competitive” offer.

ABI Research argued operators must virtualise their network infrastructure to deliver cloud-native services and continue to integrate automation throughout their services

Automation and orchestration will be key to managing more “as-a-service” applications including 5G network slicing.

Operators also should “restructure business and operating models with a look toward openness and partnerships across the industry and reduce internal fragmentation to drive cross-business service continuity”.

ABI Research also urged operators to foster a “problem solving” culture across their workforces and educate enterprises about the benefits of NaaS.

Hayden noted increased demand from start-ups, and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) were driving NaaS adoption, “but a lot still needs to be done to bridge technological, cultural and structural gaps”.

US mobile operator Verizon has emphasised its transition to a NaaS model.

In a recent interview, Verizon Business CEO Sowmyanarayan Sampath told Mobile World Live expanding its full stack of NaaS of capabilities was one of his top priorities.

Rival AT&T has previously worked with the US Air Force to deploy 5G and NaaS-based services at three bases.