SDN: Why Orange will test AT&T’s open-source ECOMP platform

  • Orange is the first telco to use AT&T’s open source SDN platform
  • News comes just two months after AT&T migrated the code to the Linux Foundation
  • Orange will follow initial lab tests with a field trial

France-based telco Orange plans to test AT&T’s ECOMP platform for creating and managing a software-defined network (SDN).

itu_blg-orange-sept-blgcreditsThe news comes just a couple of months after AT&T announced that it was releasing into open source the software platform that powers its own software-defined network. It said at the time that making its Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy (ECOMP) platform available in open source will enable other global service providers and cloud developers to meet the growing network demands of new services.

The US telco had also appointed OSS specialist Amdocs to be an integrator for telcos and cloud developers who want to use ECOMP to build their own software-centric network services. The news is in addition to the recent announcement between AT&T and Orange that they will collaborate on open source and standardisation initiatives to accelerate the standardization of SDN and network function virtualization (NFV) technologies.

RELATED: Can AT&T and Orange accelerate open source and standards for NFV/SDN?

“The analysis we conducted of ECOMP currently shows it to be highly agile and comprehensive, a testament to the commitment that AT&T has shown to address the key challenges that global service providers all face,” said Alain Maloberti, SVP of Orange Labs Network at Orange.

Orange bolsters AT&T’s sofware-centric vision

Orange is the first telco to join AT&T’s ECOMP effort, helping to validate the software-centric vision AT&T adopted several years ago as a response to increasing demand for network capacity. Both AT&T and Orange were early players in the development of telco NFV, along with BT and Telefonica.

“We jointly believe that a platform like ECOMP needs a strong and dynamic open source community to drive industry adoption, and we will work with AT&T to create a community to develop a reference software platform for automated network orchestration and management,” added Maloberti. “We plan to start experiments with ECOMP firstly in a lab environment, to be followed by a field trial as part of our On-Demand Networks program.”

‘A stake in the ground’ en route to 5G 

AT&T says it expects more companies to test and adopt ECOMP and believes that it is one of the most powerful and sophisticated software platforms it has ever built. As well as helping to meet the demands of new data-hungry applications, the telco also believes it will be crucial to fulfilling the potential of the next-generation 5G wireless networks.

“ECOMP is a stake in the ground: It’s a declaration that networks of the future will be software-centric, that they’ll be faster, more responsive to customer needs, and more efficient,” said Chris Rice, SVP of Domain 2.0 Architecture and Design, AT&T. “Orange’s decision, as one of the leading international carriers in the world, is a great endorsement of that approach.”

The original version of this article appeared in Telecom TV. 

Telecom TV delivers daily insight on the converging worlds of telecoms, media and entertainment. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of ITU.

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