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ONAP, ONF Collaborate on Open Broadband Access Networks

AT&T's multi-gigabit field trials are bringing ONAP and the ONF together to develop an open source-driven broadband access network model.

February 22, 2018

2 Min Read

ATLANTA, Ga. -- Today AT&T and the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) are announcing a collaboration to integrate the ONFs’ work on multi-gigabit passive optic networks (PON) with the service automation system, ONAP. Work will begin to integrate VOLTHA (Virtual Optical Line Termination Hardware Abstraction), the open source software stack powering PON networks, with ONAP.

This is the next step for agile development progression for virtualized and disaggregated network access for PON networks.

This will build upon ongoing field trials of XGS-PON, which is a fixed wavelength symmetrical 10Gbps passive optic network technology. It also builds upon previous GPON and CORD trials. These trials proved the viability of disaggregated architecture and the effectiveness of open source and open specs in transforming networking.

The current XGS-PON trial is testing multi-gigabit high-speed internet traffic and providing a AT&T DIRECTV NOW video experience to trial participants. To build the network, we used the following open source software.

  • AT&T Open XGS-PON OLT: an OCP Accepted white box OLT

  • ONOS: the ONF SDN controller that hosts virtual OLT control applications

  • vBNG: a virtual broadband network gateway application to manage subscribers

  • VOLTHA (Virtual Optical Line Termination Hardware Abstraction): an ONF software project that provides hardware abstraction and a highly available SDN driver for OLT devices.

VOLTHA, the software powering the PON network trials, was developed by an ONF project community and used the latest in DevOps development techniques to enable rapid prototyping and accelerated delivery to the field trial. AT&T’s Foundry in Atlanta developed the vBNG software and AT&T provided overall system integration and field operations for the trial.

“Our network is constantly evolving. Collaboration and openness across AT&T, the ONF, and VOLTHA teams will be key to bringing this 10 Gbps broadband network to customers faster,” said Igal Elbaz, senior vice president, Wireless Network Architecture and Design, AT&T. “Now that we’ve proven the viability of open access technology in our trials, we can start the integration with our operations and management automation platform – ONAP.”

“This is representative of how open source communities can come together to introduce solutions that address more comprehensively operator needs,” said Jim Zemlin, Executive Director, The Linux Foundation.

“AT&T’s Access team has been an important collaborator in ONF’s mission to provide open source platforms for software defined broadband access and we look forward to building on this collaboration as we integrate with ONAP,” said Guru Parulkar, Executive Director, ONF.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)
Open Networking Foundation
Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP)

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