AUSTIN -- Big Communications Event -- AT&T is hoping to form a team within the Open Compute Project that can develop specifications for an open approach to virtual customer premises equipment, an AT&T Labs executive said here today.
Addressing the Open Compute Project Summit, one of the pre-conference workshops at BCE, John Gibbons, lead member of technical staff, laid out AT&T's approach thus far to developing an x86 box that sits at the customer prem and hosts various virtualized network functions, under its Flexware brand.
"One of our goals with OCP is to take advantage of the OCP community to define a reference architecture spec for uCPE," Gibbons said. "We want to bring the innovation and requirements from across our industry to provide a high-quality, cost-effective solution for our end customers."
By creating a hardware standard, AT&T hopes to allow its traditional network vendor community to focus its resources on software innovation, he added.
OCP was launched by Facebook in 2011 to build industry support behind common open data center designs. AT&T is a platinum member of OCP, as isD eutsche Telekom. A number of other operators are silver members.
The move comes as Verizon, also part of OCP, is preparing its own uCPE, which it discussed publicly at another recent event. In responding to Gibbons's suggestion, one audience member at the OCP Summit suggested the carriers come together and present their ideas for uCPE. Gibbons said he welcomed input and involvement from other network operators. (See Verizon Readies Its Universal CPE.)
AT&T has already shared its specifications for access devices for both XGS-PON and G.fast, two access services the company is planning. At today's OCP Summit, Tom Anschutz, distinguished member of technical staff, updated those plans to include the addition of 24-port, one rack unit pizza box style access device, designed for XGS-PON service to multi-dwelling units.
— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading