Data analytics solutions covered in this study are probe-based and specific to the requirements of service providers. These solutions help service providers monitor key performance indicators (KPI) from a myriad of raw data that travel across their proprietary network infrastructure to enhance their quality of service (QoS) and end-user experience. Key products considered include network planning and optimizing solutions and customer experience management (CEM) solutions.

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Through the years, probes have transitioned from an inherently hardware solution to one which is more software based. This transition is primarily fueled by the proliferation of network function virtualization (NFV) and software-defined network (SDN) technologies, which will gain an increasing share with the 5G rollout.

Major trends expected to influence the market positively in the next 3-5 years include the surge in data traffic and the subsequent rise in network densification, the proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) and the rise in adoption of connected devices, the adoption of virtualization amongst network operators, and the expected launch of 5G services.

While the market portrays resilient growth during the forecast period, there are still many challenges that need to be addressed. Key challenges include inadequate expertise and resource amongst the service provider community to properly implement data analytics solutions across their network infrastructure, as well as the lack of a data analytics solution which is truly end-to-end.

To offer a more holistic solution for end users, data analytics solution providers have added the missing pieces in their product portfolio via acquisitions. Such acquisitions were not limited to the communication testing community, but were also observed amongst the service providers themselves. Mergers between prominent telecom operators and media content providers have also opened up a variety of use cases for communication testing vendors, which will require innovative data analytics solutions.

From a regional perspective, North America and Europe are important markets, due to their progress in the areas of 5G and IoT. Latin America and the Middle East and Africa, however, have a lot of catching up to do with regard to data analytics solutions gaining traction.

Vendors covered in the market include communication testing vendors that generate data insights via probes which are either proprietary or third-party owned. Important vendors covered include NETSCOUT, VIAVI Solutions, Anritsu, EXFO, and InfoVista. Other noteworthy participants include Empirix, MYCOM, NIKSUN, Sandvine, and ERCOM.