The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation. Activity driven by the rapid emergence and widespread adoption of game-changing technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), and mobility, and growing importance of technologies such as virtual private network, multiprotocol label switching, traffic optimisation and prioritisation, and centralised management and orchestration. In the last three years alone, there have been over 3.6 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Cloud: Software-defined WAN. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 2.5 million patents to analyse innovation intensity for the technology industry, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Software defined WAN is a key innovation area in cloud

Software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) is a network architecture that employs software-defined networking (SDN) to efficiently direct traffic across wide area networks (WANs). SD-WAN is specifically designed to enhance the agility, flexibility, and manageability of WANs. It offers businesses a cost-effective solution for connecting their branch offices, remote sites, and cloud applications in a streamlined manner.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 190+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of software defined WAN.

Key players in software defined WAN – a disruptive innovation in the technology industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to software defined WAN

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Huawei Investment & Holding 4455 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm 3873 Unlock Company Profile
LG 2641 Unlock Company Profile
ZTE 1552 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 1415 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 1362 Unlock Company Profile
Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson 1177 Unlock Company Profile
Nokia 1094 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone 1071 Unlock Company Profile
GuangDong OPPO Mobile Telecommunications 879 Unlock Company Profile
Sharp 825 Unlock Company Profile
InterDigital 810 Unlock Company Profile
Apple 647 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 530 Unlock Company Profile
Ntt Docomo 449 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 433 Unlock Company Profile
Furukawa 418 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 397 Unlock Company Profile
BlackBerry 365 Unlock Company Profile
Datang Telecom Technology 361 Unlock Company Profile
Vivo Communication Technology 292 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 213 Unlock Company Profile
Kyocera 169 Unlock Company Profile
China Tower 147 Unlock Company Profile
China Mobile Communication 133 Unlock Company Profile
Legend 132 Unlock Company Profile
Telefon AB Lm Ericsson 127 Unlock Company Profile
Hon Hai Precision Industry 126 Unlock Company Profile
ELG Electronic Kft 124 Unlock Company Profile
Broadcom 121 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 111 Unlock Company Profile
KT 99 Unlock Company Profile
China Pacific Insurance 99 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips 98 Unlock Company Profile
Xiaomi 96 Unlock Company Profile
ASUSTeK Computer 95 Unlock Company Profile
SK Telecom 93 Unlock Company Profile
Sun Patent Trust 93 Unlock Company Profile
Datang Telecom Group 89 Unlock Company Profile
Motorola Solutions 84 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft 83 Unlock Company Profile
CSR 74 Unlock Company Profile
Shanghai Langbo Communication Technology 70 Unlock Company Profile
Td Tech Communication Technologies 70 Unlock Company Profile
Coolpad Group 68 Unlock Company Profile
PANTECH 59 Unlock Company Profile
Canon 58 Unlock Company Profile
Microchip Technology 58 Unlock Company Profile
Neul 58 Unlock Company Profile
Deutsche Telekom 56 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Huawei is one of the leading patent filers in software defined WAN. The company’s patents are aimed at a method for reporting channel state information, including receiving a sounding signal set sent by the base station, and determining a reference signal resource configuration index according to the sounding signal set, where the reference signal resource configuration index is used to indicate a reference signal resource configuration in reference signal resource configuration set information.

The method also includes receiving a reference signal set sent by the base station, where the reference signal set corresponds to the reference signal resource configuration and determining channel state information according to the reference signal set, as well as sending the reference signal resource configuration index and the channel state information to the base station.

Other prominent patent filers in the space include Qualcomm and LG.  

By geographic reach, CSR leads the pack, followed by Neul and Wireless Future Technologies. In terms of application diversity, Infineon Technologies holds the top position, followed by Dolby Laboratories and PHC.       

SD-WAN offers significant benefits to businesses, including increased agility, improved network performance, cost efficiency, simplified management, enhanced security, and optimised cloud connectivity. By leveraging SD-WAN, businesses can build resilient and scalable networks that support their digital transformation initiatives and meet the demands of the modern business landscape.  

To further understand how cloud is disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Cloud Computing – Thematic Intelligence.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.