SAN FRANCISCO -- The LF Networking Fund (LFN), which facilitates collaboration and operational excellence across open networking projects, today announced membership growth among leading telecom service providers, with the addition of Sprint as the newest Silver member. An uptick in membership among global service providers since LFN’s formation earlier this year, which also includes KT, KDDI, SK Telecom, Swisscom, and Telecom Italia, signals strong and continued support from many of the world’s top carriers.
Hailing from Italy, Japan, Korea, the United States and Switzerland, the newest carrier members join over 100 other service providers and technology leaders from around the globe, all focused on collaborating to facilitate harmonization across technologies as well as beyond the traditional networking stack.
“I am delighted to see expanded membership and support from even more of the world’s leading telecom service providers,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager of Networking and Orchestration, The Linux Foundation. “As LFN now enables over 65 percent of the global mobile subscribers, we can better see the impact of open source on the networking ecosystem, signaling a broader industry trend toward innovation, harmonization and accelerated deployment.”
“As a leading telecom company, we put great importance in network automation that utilizes open source to cope with maintenance and management of both virtualized and existing network complexly,” said Yoshiaki Uchida, senior managing executive officer, Director of KDDI. “We are eager to continue to work with the ONAP community to further progress network management for the 5G era.”
“5G technology is expected to dynamically provide various high-quality applications and services through virtualization-based open source technology. By joining LFN, KT will actively participate in the open source ecosystem, which is set to lead standardization and development of next-generation 5G networks,” said Dr. Hongbeom Jeon, head of KT Infra Lab. “As a result, we will collectively pioneer the new era of smart and cost-effective 5G platforms.”
“Open source software is a key enabler for the future mobile operators to quickly introduce new services and adapt to the highly dynamic service requirements,” said Jong-Kwan Park, SVP, Head of Network Technology R&D Center, SK Telecom. “5G and rapidly emerging service requirements are posing unprecedented challenge to mobile operators. To address this challenge, network transformation leveraging open source networking software is underway at SK Telecom. As a founding member of Linux Foundation Networking Fund, SK Telecom will continue its efforts towards harmonized and facilitated developments of open source networking projects.”
“Open source is a model that works, allowing for very rapid innovation from within a vibrant community,” said Dr. Ron Marquardt, Vice President of Technology at Sprint. “We’re excited to join LF Networking as we work to make our traditional mobility architectures and software designs more streamlined, efficient, and scalable using a virtualized environment.”
“Swisscom is a supporter of open source and open standards and we appreciate that LFN is strengthening the role of open source in the networking domain,” said Rico Schwendener, head of Innovation, Swisscom. “We expect projects like ONAP to enable us to head towards more efficient and innovative network operations.”
“Network operators worldwide are experiencing dramatic changes in business and operation models driven by network softwarization,” said Enrico Bagnasco, Technology Innovation head, Telecom Italia. “Telecom Italia has already started a comprehensive digital transformation program, which is addressing network simplification and decommissioning, network functions virtualization and automation, agile operation, and a new generation of OSS. In this framework, we are happy to join LF Networking in a cooperative industry effort to design and harmonize end-to-end solutions to orchestrate and control key features of the future networks using open source.”
Telecom service providers are increasingly developing solutions and deploying LFN projects within their networks, with ONAP, OPNFV and ODL as critical components to enable SDN/NFV, 5G, big data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) network services.
Meanwhile, LFN’s robust community of carriers – which includes AT&T, Bell Canada, China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Comcast, KT, KDDI, Orange, PCCW Global, Reliance Jio, SK Telecom, Turk Telecom, Verizon, and Vodafone and others – are leveraging various components and functionalities of LFN project platforms for VNF onboarding, orchestration, service delivery, network reconstruction, and more.
About the Newest Service Provider Members
KDDI is one of the largest telecommunication service providers in Japan, offering Mobile, Fixed-line communications and ICT services internationally. As the era of IoT and 5G dawns, KDDI is aiming for the “integration of telecommunications and life design,” actively proposing new value to customers by expanding life design services such as commerce, energy, finance, education and other services, those are essential to daily life, in addition to the existing telecommunications services.
KT Corporation provides telecommunications services in Korea. The company offers fixed-line telephone services, including local, domestic long-distance, and international long-distance fixed-line and voice over Internet protocol telephone services, as well as interconnection services. With its GiGA-class wired and wireless network infrastructure and ICT technologies, KT focuses on various convergence services including IoT, Big Data, AI, aiming at a global market. KT first introduced smartphone to Korean market in 2009 and now KT is preparing to deploy the first 5G trial network in 2018.
SK telecom is Korea’s largest telecommunications company with more than 29 million mobile subscribers, which accounts for around 50 percent of the total market. Established in March 1984, SK telecom has led the development of the global mobile telecommunications industry by launching CDMA (2G), WCDMA (3G) and LTE-A (4G) for the first time in the world. Through constant efforts to deliver the best user experience, the company has been offering up to 500Mbps LTE service via tri-band Carrier Aggregation. With the goal to achieve early commercialization of 5G, SK telecom is aggressively developing key enabling technologies under its 5G roadmap.
Sprint (NYSE: S) is a communications services company that creates more and better ways to connect its customers to the things they care about most. Sprint served 54.6 million connections as of March 31, 2018, and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; leading no-contract brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Today, Sprint’s legacy of innovation and service continues with an increased investment to dramatically improve coverage, reliability and speed across its nationwide network and commitment to launching the first mobile 5G network in the U.S. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.
Swisscom, Switzerland’s leading telecom company and one of its leading IT companies, is headquartered in Worblaufen, close to the capital city Berne. Swisscom’s international activities are concentrated mainly in Italy, where its subsidiary Fastweb is one of the biggest broadband providers. More than 20,000 employees generated sales of around CHF 11.7 billion (2017) with CHF 2.88 billion posted in the 1st quarter 2018. Swisscom is one of the most sustainable companies in Switzerland and Europe.
Telecom Italia (TIM S.p.A.) is the primary subsidiary of parent-company Telecom Italia Group, one of Europe’s telecommunications industry leaders, with a portfolio of companies spanning the entire advanced communications services chain, including fixed and mobile services, cloud, media and innovative business solutions and systems. www.telecomitalia.com
Committed to harmonizing open source and standards, LFN members work together to accelerate the convergence of automation and virtualization within networks. The LFN community will come together for Open Networking Summit Europe on September 25-27, 2018 in Amsterdam. ONS is the industry’s premier open networking event, gathering enterprises, service providers and cloud providers across the ecosystem to share learnings, highlight innovation and discuss the future of Open Source Networking, including SDN, NFV, orchestration and the automation of cloud, network, & IoT services.