Telecom operators AT&T and Orange are collaborating on standards for software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV). The two companies say that by joining forces they believe they can more quickly drive standardization efforts.
Specifically, the companies said they will work together to make customer premises equipment (CPE) plug-and-play by creating common specifications so the CPEs will work with different network function software providers. They also want to develop common guidelines and templates to make virtual network functions (VNFs) interoperable. And they plan to standardize APIs so that SDN architectures from different service providers are interoperable.
The move is interesting given that AT&T, in particular, has been very active in industry groups such as OpenDaylight, OPNFV, the Open Network Operating System (ONOS), and OpenStack as a way to drive open standards. The two operators are hoping that by working together they can accelerate deployment cycles. The two companies also said they will identify appropriate forums for industry standardization.
“We need to move faster as an industry, and we need to be more standardized than we are because that will benefit everyone, including our customers,” says an AT&T spokeswoman. “One of the reasons we participate in this various forums and standards bodies is to drive that adoption and help convince the slower adopters of the benefits of SDN and NFV.”
At the beginning of the year, AT&T said that it wants 50 percent of its network to be open source.
“We’re committed to defining a framework that will accelerate the adoption of SDN. Driving the industry toward a standardized approach will reduce the cost and complexity created by proprietary implementation of equipment in the network and on the customer premise,” said Roman Pacewicz, AT&T Business Solutions’ senior vice president of offer management and service integration, in a statement.