NEW YORK -- The New IP Agency (NIA), the not-for-profit independent initiative providing information, education, analysis, community services and testing to support and accelerate the development of a global economy based on open, advanced, virtualized IP networks, formally launched today.
The initial set of members includes service providers Deutsche Telekom, Boingo Wireless, Bright House Networks, Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable and XO Communications.
Additionally, the four largest vendors of IP networking solutions by market share -- Cisco Systems, Huawei Technologies, Juniper Networks and Nokia -- plus ADTRAN, ADVA Optical Networking, Ciena, MetaSwitch Networks, Sonus Networks, IneoQuest Technologies, NetNumber, Procera Networks, Ubiqube Solutions and Dorado Software have joined the NIA and will be participating in the NIA's interoperability test phases.
"The cloudification of network functions and the change in our production models is probably the biggest transformation ever hitting the telco industry. In a world built on open standards and open source, testing and integration remains a major effort -- an independent entity like NIA driving this can deliver huge value to us as network operators and our vendors," said Axel Clauberg, Vice President, Aggregation, Transport, IP and Fixed Access Architecture, Deutsche Telekom.
The advent of virtualized communications has created much excitement across the communications industry, but as the realities of deploying virtualized networks come to bear service providers are faced with a hugely confusing and challenging transition -- one created by the very organizations intended to create certainty. There are now more than three dozen groups involved in virtualization standards and open source specifications, including 'official' organizations, de facto industry organizations and single-vendor initiatives.
"The communications industry is at a critical juncture as major advances in technology, such as virtualization, have the potential to drive a new global, digital economy," said Kelly Ahuja, Senior Vice President of Cisco's Service Provider Business, Products and Solutions, and NIA board member. "As the leader in IP communication technology, Cisco supports the NIA and its initiative to help unify the industry and accelerate the development of a global economy based on open, virtualized IP networks."
By joining the NIA, service providers tasked with deploying virtualized networks will benefit from informational resources in the form of NIA's independent third-party interoperability testing, the results of which will be shared and hosted on Light Reading's 'Virtuapedia' -- a multi-tiered directory that defines and encapsulates the entire next-generation communications ecosystem.
Additionally, as part of its mission to reduce confusion and improve service providers' transition to virtualized networks the NIA will host cross-industry communications focused on bridging lines of communication between the various groups involved in creating virtualization standards and specifications, cycling feedback from interoperability tests performed in order to accelerate the adoption of virtualized networks.
"The communications industry set out to create a better communications mousetrap and has ended up developing a technology -- virtualization -- that will change the entire world. Light Reading is delighted to be supporting NIA in its efforts to accelerate the successful adoption of profitable virtualized New IP networks, and I have been blown away by the response to the initiative," said Stephen Saunders, CEO & Founder of Light Reading and the NIA's Ex-Officio Director.
The initial formation of the NIA was announced in June of 2015 at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event and, recognizing the important role that the NIA offers the communications industry, Light Reading underwrote the "pre-phase" expense of launching the NIA, which included the NIA's initial test phase on VNF-NFVi interoperability. Now the NIA will operate as a completely self-funded not-for-profit supported by the NIA's membership.
The NIA expects to announce more member companies in the coming weeks and throughout 2016 -- with over half drawn from the ranks of the world's leading service providers and webscale companies, including Colt Group, BT Group, Telefonica, China Telecom, Google and others.