The report also reveals that the telecom networks will virtualise the latest 3G and 4G networks.
Virtualised mobile network investment is expected to reach $6bn by 2018, according to a new report from ABI Research.
The latest SDN and NFV Business Case report reveals that the telecom industry is seeking to maximise opportunities in the IT industry.
This would result in the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) WG pushing the Telecom ecosystem closer to the IT ecosystem.
The report showed that the telecom networks will virtualise, initially with the services plane, and followed by the control and data planes of latest 3G and 4G networks.
ABI Research practice director Joe Hoffman said that software defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualisation (NFV)changing the nature of the telecom industry.
"The changes in business practices will enhance both top line and bottom line financial results much more than just cost reductions," Hoffman said.
"In the long run, operators embracing SDN/NFV will outrun their competitors with a much faster service velocity."
Operators are also reported to be mulling over commercial IT servers for their core networks and capturing the resultant CapEx savings.
ABI Research anticipates that the OpEx savings would surpass CapEx savings.
Nokia Siemens Networks is leading virtualisation with ints Liquid Core network that includes ATCA and HP servers, followed by Cisco, which is expected to benefit from this trend.