The New IP Agency (NIA) has unveiled plans to focus more heavily on certification activities as it looks to spur the adoption of network functions virtualization (NFV) in the telecom sector.
Founded little more than a year ago, the not-for-profit group provides various resources and community services aimed at helping telco professionals to overcome the challenges of deploying NFV technology.
Much of the agency's work so far has involved carrying out high-profile interoperability tests on vendor products in partnership with the European Advanced Networking Test Center AG (EANTC) .
In a change of gear, however, The New IP Agency is to put a lot more effort into certification work in the months ahead, noted Axel Clauberg, Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT)'s vice president of transport, aggregation and IP and fixed access and an NIA board member, during an OrbTV video interview conducted during MWC 2017 in Barcelona.
"We are putting a lot of focus on certification," Clauberg told Light Reading. "That might sound odd, but when we brought NFV to market we were looking at an abstraction of the hardware and software from the application. In reality, when you look at the infrastructure cloud that DT is building... and compare it against AT&T's or Telefónica's or any of the others, they are all looking different," and that makes it very difficult and time-consuming to undertake the onboarding of virtual network functions, he notes. (See OrbTV: DT Updates on NFV Progress.)
Clauberg said that having a certification system in place would make this whole process much easier and that recent discussions within the NIA had mainly been about the issue of certification.
The update comes several weeks after Steve Saunders, the founder and CEO of Light Reading, said the NIA was looking at "next steps" that could include a move into certification.
"People have complained in the past that certification could be incredibly complicated and that you would have to certify every interface, but you don't," Saunders told executives gathered in Rome in December for Light Reading's Executive Summit. "[Operators] are buying a suite from a single vendor and so we need to certify those suites and the interfaces between those suites."
Membership of the NIA has swelled since the organization first appeared and now comprises most of the world's leading vendors, including Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Dell Networking , ECI Telecom Ltd. , Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), Mitel Networks Corp. and ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763).
Besides Deutsche Telekom, service provider members include Boingo Wireless Inc. , Bright House Networks , Colt Technology Services Group Ltd , Cox Communications Inc. , Hibernia Networks , Laser Light Communications, Orange Business Services , Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) and XO Communications Inc.
— Iain Morris, , News Editor, Light Reading