CenturyLink Testing Adtran Virtual 10G PON

Announcement one of many at vendor's annual customer/media event, signaling early progress on the virtualized access front.

August 16, 2017

4 Min Read
CenturyLink Testing Adtran Virtual 10G PON

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Three years into its transformation to become a software and services company, Adtran is using its annual Connect event to cite some benchmarks on that journey, showcasing a flurry of new products and customer relationships.

Chief among the latter is today's announcement that CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL), whose CTO was here yesterday, is conducting the first US field trial of Adtran Inc. (Nasdaq: ADTN)'s virtualized OTL 10G-PON, which the company believes is also the first US deployment of software-defined access technology. That gives Adtran bragging rights over fixed broadband access system rivals such as Calix, Nokia and Huawei. (See CenturyLink to Test Adtran Virtual 10G-PON and CenturyLink Touting New MVP.)

As a string of Adtran executives made clear Tuesday during a series of presentations, the vendor believes it is well positioned to grab market share in software-defined access with its Mosaic platform, as network operators use their next round of access upgrades to bring the flexibility of software-driven systems into the access realm.

Figure 1: Adtran's Tom Stanton Addresses Media and Analysts Adtran's Tom Stanton addresses media and analysts. Adtran's Tom Stanton addresses media and analysts.

"Our software development around Mosaic has been in the market for about eight months, where we have been working with customers on it," Adtran CEO Tom Stanton told industry media and analysts. "We have more than 25 carriers that are trialing Mosaic and that number goes to 100 with Gfast trials [upcoming]. We have ten Tier 1s that are trialing or utilizing Mosaic and that is a fairly large transformation effort. And we think Mosaic is the most awarded SDN software in the market -- we have nine industry awards all within the last few months."

"I was really pleased to see the progress Adtran is making with its Mosaic Cloud Platform," noted Tim Doiron, principal analyst, intelligent network for ACG Research. "It's significant, as network programmability and automation will help service providers increase their own service velocity and agility while controlling operational costs."

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Stanton also pointed to a recent win with a cable operator -- not yet identified -- which signals Adtran's move into that critical market (cable accounts for 60% of the US fixed broadband market). Any sales into that sector will be a boost to Adtran's bottom line, he noted.

"We have had a lot of deployment and made significant headway in a relatively short period of time," Stanton said.

Today's product announcements signaled further progress and include:

  • Adtran SD-Access Accelerator, a bundle of integration services for software-defined access that incorporate Adtran's R-CORD (Residential-Central Office Re-Architected-as-a-Datacenter) point of delivery systems. As CenturyLink CTO Aamir Hussain mentioned Tuesday, telcos are pushing their clouds to the edge of their networks, converting their central offices to data centers. What Adtran is offering is a pre-integrated R-CORD that can be easily deployed as part of an SD-WAN rollout. (See Adtran Intros SD-Access Accelerator.)

  • Mosaic Broadband Subscriber Management Suite, a software package that enables network operators to eliminate standalone broadband network gateways (BNGs) and move the creation and management of subscriber sessions to the network provider edge. Eliminating BNGs reduces capex and removes a potential bottleneck to the software-defined access network, as well as helping lower operational costs over the long term. (See Adtran Mosaic Adds Broadband Subscriber Management Suite.)

  • Adtran Gigabit Accelerator Program, a packaged offering targeting rural carriers with a set of resources to speed up their move to gigabit services. The program includes the hardware and software needed to get started but also pulls in Adtran's new services effort to actually manage installation, along with training and marketing support. Gary Bolton, vice president of marketing for the vendor, told the media and analysts this is part of Adtran's ongoing effort to help smaller carriers that want to move to gigabit services but don't have the internal resources to support a rollout and then market the new services. The program targets carriers that are part of the Federal Communications Commission's Alternative Connect America Cost model. (See Adtran Seeks to Accelerate Gigabit Adoption.)

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

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