Light Reading

Will Carriers Step Up to Open Challenge?

Carol Wilson
6/20/2014
50%
50%

Telecom service providers are being asked in multiple ways to put their money where their mouths are when it comes to supporting open source software and technology in the move to virtualization.

The most obvious move those willing to embrace openness will make is joining the new open source project -- called Open Platform for NFV, or OPN -- that a number of telecom operators associated with the ETSI Network Functions Virtualization Industry Specification Group are setting up with the Linux Foundation , already home to OpenDaylight . (See Is Open Source the New De Facto Standard?)

At Light Reading's Big Telecom Event this week, multiple industry sources were talking about the OPN effort -- including Marc Cohn, senior director of market development at Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) and an active player in both the Open Networking Foundation and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) NFV ISG, and Phil Robb, director of Networking Solutions for the Linux Foundation and technical liaison to OpenDaylight.

The idea is straightforward: use open source software to accelerate the pace at which an Open NFV platform can be developed and deployed. Some of the building blocks needed to build such a platform are available today, and others can be developed through cooperation in an open source process to fill in gaps, and do the integration and testing required to ensure carrier grade service performance.

Cohn said Monday that telecom network operators are being asked -- and many are willing -- to help fund the open source effort and to actively participate in a way similar to the way major vendors (Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Juniper Group Inc. , Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), and more) have stepped up to support OpenDaylight. That support has enabled the very rapid development of an open source-based SDN controller. (See OpenDaylight Unveils Open-Source SDN Controller.)

Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF), NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NYSE: DCM), Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), and BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) are among the companies reportedly involved in the effort, which they hope to have funded and operational this summer.

The OPN group will combine carriers' expertise in networking technology with the Linux Foundation's experience in running successful open source projects.

"This would be a base for users and vendors to make products for NFV technology," Robb said in an interview at BTE. The software will fill gaps in available NFV capabilities.

The group will work on components including cloud orchestration and the cloud stack, along with an SDN controller -- possibly OpenDaylight -- to manage network paths, Robb said.

One potential obstacle: The OpenStack Foundation is moving forward on its own open source NFV reference implementation, and the OPN developers will need to decide what relationship, if any, they should have with that project.

Speaking separately, Neela Jacques, executive director of OpenDaylight, said service providers also need to vote with their dollars to support open source, and hold their vendors to promises of keeping NFV and SDN technologies "open."

"NFV could still go in a couple of directions," he said. "It could become like 'cloud' -- the term is essentially meaningless because anyone can use it as they choose to. Or telecom operators could choose to put key questions in their RFPs, and be specific."

They can use those RFPs to require truly open application programming interfaces (APIs) and use of OpenDaylight and OpenStack technologies at the core of vendor solutions.

Without asking pointed questions and holding vendors to back up their promises of openness with action, service providers could find themselves much more locked in than they want, and the "open" NFV process could still be derailed.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading and Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to wagner@lightreading.com.

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
kq4ym
50%
50%
kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/23/2014 | 9:23:24 AM
Re: Two Camps
I suspect service providers just yet don't see any immenent need to invest in open resources at this time. It's probably a wait and see game, let other spend the time and money to innovate, and then when it seems time to join up, go in when the investment challenge might not be as steep.
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/20/2014 | 10:04:39 PM
Two Camps
I would expect this to get a bit fractious over time. Sure, we're going to see the debate for the open side of things in this realm. But I am going to speculate that there will be companies that will want to control a product and thus keep it proprietary. 

We'll likely see the same issues as we have with cloud-based technologies. Some are open, many aren't. I anticpate the same developments in this space as well. 
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Networks of the future will rely on "white box" switches and servers rather than proprietary hardware and that's going to alter the shape of the communications industry. Who says so? John Chambers.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Intros Smart Device for eLTE

3|30|15   |   05:25   |   (0) comments


Huawei has developed a secure, location-aware multimedia smartphone for its eLTE trunked radio solution, says Huawei's Norman Frisch.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Win Video, Win All

3|30|15   |   06:44   |   (0) comments


Video is going to be the next main source of revenue for operators. Operators have big opportunities and advantages to monetize video services. Globally, Huawei has helped more than 70 operators achieve over 30 million video subscribers. Watch this video for more.
LRTV Custom TV
The Benefits of HyperScale Clouds for NFV

3|27|15   |   01:50   |   (0) comments


Hyperscale cloud has been developed by the Internet giants to support the creation and delivery of software-based services at blistering speeds, and at the lowest possible cost. The original ETSI NFV vision was to adopt hyperscale cloud architecture and practices. This vision has become somewhat obscured along the way, due to misunderstandings about the hyperscale ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
eLTE Rapid Meets the Need for Speed

3|26|15   |   4:45   |   (0) comments


Designed especially for emergency and dedicated ad hoc local mobile communications coverage, Huawei's eLTE Rapid solution can deliver trunked voice, video and data coverage for multiple users over a 6km range and be set up in just 15 minutes, explains Huawei's Norman Frisch.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
On Videos: Challenges & Opportunities

3|26|15   |   5:56   |   (0) comments


Most everything is now connected. And along with 4K and 4G technologies, everyone could be creating and broadcasting video contents. Users are expecting better video experience with any screen, anywhere and anytime. Operators will meet new challenges, but also see some big opportunities.
LRTV Custom TV
JDSU: Delivering Dynamic Networks for a Personalized Experience

3|26|15   |   5:59   |   (0) comments


Light Reading speaks to JDSU at Mobile World Congress 2015 about new solutions in the areas of HetNets, VoLTE, backhaul, virtualization, big data analytics, and real-time intelligence.
LRTV Custom TV
Smarter Service Chaining & New Ways to Benefit From Qosmos Technology

3|25|15   |   03:11   |   (0) comments


David Le Goff, director of strategic and product marketing at Qosmos, explains how the company has added application awareness to subscriber information to make service chaining more efficient and reduce costs for networking and infrastructure. In addition, Qosmos technology, which has been delivered as C libraries, is now also available as a virtual machine, ...
Between the CEOs
Qosmos CEO: The Changing Face of DPI

3|24|15   |   13:53   |   (0) comments


LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures. Also, how the comms market is becoming more like the automotive industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
FC Schalke Scores With Its Agile Stadium

3|24|15   |   6:23   |   (0) comments


Top German soccer club FC Schalke 04 has deployed a new, agile WiFi network from Huawei in its Veltins-Arena stadium and is reaping the benefits in terms of customer satisfaction and business opportunities, explains marketing chief Alexander Jobst.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Insights on Mobile Video

3|24|15   |   7:51   |   (0) comments


More people than ever are now watching videos on smartphones. Seventy percent of mobile traffic will be video traffic until 2018. In this video, Huawei's exports give their insights on mobile video in terms of business model, network planning and 4G network construction.
LRTV Documentaries
The Rise of Industry 4.0

3|24|15   |   02:26   |   (9) comments


Are you ready for the fourth industrial revolution? It's a big deal for influential operators such as Deutsche Telekom.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Getting Connected With eLTE

3|23|15   |   06:04   |   (0) comments


Trunked radio communications have entered the 4G LTE world, and with Huawei's eLTE solution, can now deliver a full range of data and video services as well as push-to-talk voice, explains Huawei's Norman Frisch.
Upcoming Live Events
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 5, 2015, Hyatt McCormick Place, Chicago, IL
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
AT&T Woos SMBs With Small-Scale WiFi
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 3/26/2015
Just Don't Say IBM Is 'Relaunching' Networking Business
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 3/26/2015
TV Everywhere Nears Mainstream Adoption
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 3/27/2015
Carriers Are Bright Spot in BlackBerry Q4
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 3/27/2015
Comcast Says TWC Deal Will Close Later
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 3/26/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures.
Chattanooga’s EPB publicly owned utility comms company has become a poster child for how to enable a local economy using next-gen networking technology. Steve Saunders, Founder of Light Reading, sits down with Harold DePriest, president and CEO of EPB, to learn how EPB is bringing big time tech to small town America.