Sophia Antipolis, 24 February 2023

In the light of ten years from the NFV introductory whitepaper, is the new whitepaper the ETSI ISG NFV Network Operator Council (NOC), an advisory group of ISG NFV, launched this week, 10 years after the introductory whitepaper. 

The advisory group’s role has been to steer the technical work and align it with the goals of network service providers, as the users of the technology. ISG NFV pioneered the current trend of incorporating user groups to technology development communities, whether by standards documents or by open-source implementations.

The authors are active participants in the NFV NOC, with many of them having been involved in the development of the technology since its inception ten years ago.

Since the inception of NFV ten years ago, the telco industry and the way that telecom networks are deployed and operated has radically changed, and NFV has been a major element of this network transformation in the last decade.

In the tenth anniversary of NFV, the intention of this whitepaper is twofold: to provide a view on the evolution and impact of the technology concepts that were coined a decade ago, and to analyse and explore the new application environments and challenges that will shape the technology and its industry adoption in terms of interoperable solutions.

The whitepaper covers the evolution of the NFV concepts and their translation into formal standards by the ETSI ISG NFV. It also analyses the goals of the successive specification releases, together with the connection to other means for standardization, aiming to constitute the foundations for facilitating the interoperability and guiding the technology development ecosystem. A third part discusses the role of the NFV ideas as foundations for network transformation. It concludes with a review of NFV impact, an analysis of the original goals outlined in the foundational whitepaper and its standardization provided, including some additional benefits, among which the role of NFV as research and innovation accelerator is specifically relevant.

NFV has expanded its application environments since its original inception, acting as a facilitator of network transformation and as a key enabler for technology evolution. These include 5G consolidation and further evolution, the use and integration of non-public networks, and edge environments. A series of challenges and opportunities for the future of NFV are discussed as well.

Download the whitepaper HERE

Founded in November 2012 by seven of the world’s leading telecoms network operators, ETSI ISG NFV has established itself as the home of Network Functions Virtualization. It will celebrate its 10th anniversary at ETSI on 6 – 7 March 2023. More information on our website:


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