AT&T, Orange to speed up SDN and NFV deployments

GSMA RCS program
Telecom network operators AT&T and Orange announced their agreement for open source and standardization initiatives to speed up the standardization of software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) technologies.

The companies, in an effort to divert intelligence from customer hardware to the network, cutting cost and complexity, will provide users with agile, flexible and on-demand networking future.

With virtual network services and function deployment still being complex, telecom network service providers and businesses face issues related to proprietary standards, closed architectures and multiple equipment vendors that have different platforms and specifications.

Both Orange and AT&T intend to remove hurdles by finding solutions for standardization of the SDN technology by introducing common standards and interfaces. If successful, the agreement will result in simpler technological integration, increased operational efficiency and reduced costs with shorter deployment cycles, in turn boosting innovation.

“We’re committed to defining a framework that will accelerate the adoption of SDN. Driving the industry toward a standardized approach will reduce the cost and complexity created by proprietary implementation of equipment in the network and on the customer premise,” said Roman Pacewicz, senior vice president, Offer Management and Service Integration, AT&T Business Solutions.

Open and inter-operable SDN and NFV technologies can deliver secure, intelligent, application-aware networking, which will aid NSPs and business customers by enabling faster deployment, infrastructure customization, and innovation for inter-operable service and equipment provider surroundings.

Network centric approach

# Making customer premises equipment (CPE) and services universal with common specifications for premise-based devices compatible with different NSP environments and network function software providers

# Common guidelines and templates for making the on-boarding process for virtual network functions (VNFs) similar so that the VNF provider ecosystem can grow and include more plug and play VNFs

# Developing standardized APIs for SDN architectures from different NSPs to inter-operate with each other, making deployment of virtualized network services and functions faster and easier

“Everyone benefits when network services and functions are designed around a common ecosystem that is delivered on open platforms. Innovation can happen faster and more easily, and this model will also help improve reliability and security,” said Didier Duriez, senior vice president, Global Solutions, Orange Business Services.

AT&T, with NFV on demand service in 76 countries and territories,  previously revealed its strategy to move its services from 5.7 percent last year to 30 percent by this year end, and to 75 percent by 2020.

Orange, with the support of Telia Company and AT&T, recently initiated the TransportPCE project within OpenDaylight, which is the networking industry’s largest open source project focused on SDN and NFV.

IHS Markit recently said that the NFV market will scale from $2.7 billion today to $15.5 billion by 2020.

Vina Krishnan
[email protected]