AT&T Backs ONAP-Focused VC Fund

Carol Wilson

AT&T is putting its money where its concerns are, committing up to $200 million to a venture capital fund that targets startups, with an eye to focusing that talent on technology related to global service providers in general and ONAP in particular. (See AT&TJoins VC Effort to Spur ONAP-Based Tech.)

ONAP, or Open Network Automation Platform, is the open source project created earlier this year from a combination of AT&T's internally developed software for orchestrating and managing virtual networks and an existing open source project at the Linux Foundation known as Open-Orchestrator.

AT&T is now investing in the Coral Group's Communications Industry Platform (CIP) fund to "find and possibly create" startup companies to tackle the thorniest problems facing global service providers, according to a statement by Andre Fuetsch, CTO of AT&T and president of AT&T Labs. In that same statement, AT&T says the fund will invest in technologies that run on ONAP.

According to the Coral Group, the focus of CIP is on "large, move-the-needle opportunities initiated by our strategic collaborators," Yuval Almog, Coral Group chairman and founder, said in a statement.

Want to know more about the companies, people and organizations driving developments in the virtualization sector? Check out Virtuapedia, the most comprehensive online resource covering the virtualization industry.

The two companies will be looking for other potential investors in CIP, according to the news release.

The move is another indication of the pace at which AT&T is trying to push technology forward, something its executives have continuously discussed in multiple public forums. In May, AT&T's chief strategy officer and group president of AT&T Technology & Operations, John Donovan, told the Big Communications Event audience that moving much faster and adopting open source approaches are two key factors to surviving in an ever-changing market. (See AT&T's Donovan: Resistance to Change Is Futile .)

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

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