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Legacy network decommissioning: Challenges and opportunities

Accenture research discusses the challenges and opportunities around decommissioning legacy networks.


One of the challenges for legacy networks is increased competition, making it tougher for communications service providers (CSP) to charge fees that allow them to make the infrastructure improvements required to support better, more differentiated services.

To reduce expenses and provide a solid base for offering more digital and high-value services, CSPs can decommission legacy networks to drive down costs. Done correctly, it can be accomplished in ways that results in significant cost savings and creates long-term viability for 21st century business models.

To make a conversion of an all-IP network migration successful, CSPs need to look at existing business models from a corporate standpoint, not solely from a departmental perspective:

  • What are the costs and cost savings of legacy network decommissioning?

  • What are the investments and potential returns on investment from an all-digital network?

  • How will workflow within the organization be affected?

  • What will the impact be on the ability to outsource certain activities for lower cost?

  • How will the migration help the organization become more responsive to customers?


CSPs need to be able to offer and deploy new services quickly, which is not possible with legacy networks. When thinking about when to make the move an all-IP network, consider that:

  • The existing system will need to undergo conversion eventually.

  • New competitors are entering the market all the time and other CSPs will consolidate.

  • New competitors are entering the market all the time and other CSPs will consolidate.

  • CSPs must be able to deploy new service quickly and efficiently.

  • Decommissioning costs have a potential for significant returns on investment; maintaining legacy networks does not.


Paul Bultema is a Managing Director, Strategy Consulting for the Communications, Media and Technology Industry, where he drives strategy for our communications industry and network service line of business.

John Morgan is a Senior Manager in Accenture’s Communications, Media and Technology Industry.

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