at&t logoAT&T is working with the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) to integrate the ONAP operating system with multi-gigabit passive optical networks. The AT&T, ONF collaboration will leverage work the ONF already has done on multi-gigabit PON.

“This is the next step for agile development progression for virtualized and disaggregated network access for PON networks,” said AT&T and ONF in a press release.

AT&T, ONF Collaboration
A key element of the work that the ONF already has done on multi-gigabit PON is virtual optical line termination hardware abstraction (VOLTHA), an open source software stack for PON networks. Integrating VOLTA with ONAP will be the first task that AT&T and the ONF will undertake as part of the new collaboration.

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ONAP has been described as a “community” pursuing open standards for an “operating system for virtualized networks.”  The operating system software is being developed collaboratively, with numerous industry heavy hitters participating. As of September, the project had 900 contributors, 50 members and 30 projects.

AT&T has been a key ONAP backer. ONAP was created by the merger of the Open ECOMP platform created by AT&T Labs with a similar, preexisting open source development project.

AT&T and the ONF will build on ongoing field trials of XGS-PON technology designed to support speeds up to 10 Gbps. The current XGS-PON trial is testing multi-gigabit high-speed internet traffic and providing AT&T DirecTV NOW video to trial participants.

According to a press release, the trial includes these elements:

  • AT&T Open XGS-PON optical line terminal, a white box OLT
  • ONOS: the ONF software defined network controller that hosts virtual OLT control applications
  • vBNG: a virtual broadband network gateway application to manage subscribers
  • VOLTA: the ONF software project that provides hardware abstraction and a highly available SDN driver for OLT devices

“Collaboration and openness across AT&T, the ONF and VOLTHA teams will be key to bringing this 10 Gbps broadband network to customers faster,” said Igal Elbaz, AT&T senior vice president of wireless network architecture and design, in the press release. “Now that we’ve proven the viability of open access technology in our trials, we can start the integration with our operations and management automation platform – ONAP.”

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