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AT&T's Fuetsch: 'We Really Didn't Have a Choice' on Open NetworkingAT&T's Fuetsch: 'We Really Didn't Have a Choice' on Open Networking

Increased network demand since the dawn of the smartphone era – up an astounding 470,000% since 2007 – made network virtualization mandatory. Now, the carrier is deploying SDN-enabled broadband access as part of that transition.

Stephen Lawson

September 12, 2019

4 Min Read
AT&T's Fuetsch: 'We Really Didn't Have a Choice' on Open Networking

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- ONF Connect -- AT&T has nearly reached its goal of virtualizing 75% of its network by 2020 and is now gearing up for trials of open networking platforms that could make operators more agile and efficient.

The US wireline and wireless giant, one of the most aggressive adopters of open networking among major network operators, has applied software-defined networking (SDN) in 65% of its network, said Andre Fuetsch, CTO of AT&T and president of AT&T Labs, in a presentation that kicked off the Open Networking Forum's ONF Connect conference on Wednesday. In addition, fully 75% of the data traffic going through the MPLS (multiprotocol label switching) tunnels linking core elements of AT&T's network is under SDN control, he said. In 2014, the company pledged to virtualize 75% of its network by the end of 2020.

The boom in data traffic on AT&T since the debut of the first smartphone in 2007 -- up 470,000% -- has forced AT&T to adopt open networking to rapidly expand its network and introduce new services, Fuetsch said.

"We really didn't have a choice," he said.

Figure 1: Photo by Mike Mozart (CC BY 2.0) 
Photo by Mike Mozart (CC BY 2.0)

About the Author(s)

Stephen Lawson

Contributing Editor

Stephen Lawson, is a regular contributor to Light Reading.

Follow him on Twitter @sdlawsonmedia

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