No, the point of being a telecom company is to connect your customers together, move their data where they want it efficiently, and get them to pay you for it. Telecom workloads not only include digging ditches for your access line and running wavelength division multiplexors across them, they also include things like routing IPv4/IPv6, firewalls, load balancing, intrusion detection, preventing and mitigating DDOS, hosting CDNs, routing lots of private networks that all run RFC1918 addresses and maybe VLANs, MPLS, maintaining really large BGP tables, fast rerouting around failures, etc.
We're virtualizing that stuff instead of buying big expensive custom-built routers for the same reasons you're virtualizing your compute loads instead of stacking up lots of 1U machines. Internet-scale routers are blazingly expensive, and we want to use Moore's Law to do the compute-bound parts of the workload cheaply and efficiently and let us build new services quickly because we only have to upgrade the software, while using expensive custom hardware only for the things that really need it, plus a lot of that hardware is getting replaced by things like Openflow switches and SDN, which we'd like to take advantage of, and buying expensive dedicated-purpose hardware means you're often stuck overbuilding because the scale of your different types of workloads changes faster than you can redesign hardware.
Also, the transition of lots of enterprise corporate computing from traditional data center structures to clouds means that the communication patterns change a lot faster, and we need to keep up with them. This stuff does seem to be driven a lot more by the needs of the users (telecom and data center) than by the manufacturers of virtualization software or traditional hardware.
And yes, every bit of business buzzword bingo does flow across our desks.