According to Business Korea, AT&T Chief Strategy Officer John Donovan attended an event at the KT Technology and Convergence Center. The meeting resulted in plans for the firms to tap AT&T’s NFV and SDN work and KT’s efforts around 5G.
“We expect that cooperation through AT&T’s SDN/NFV leadership and KT’s 5G leadership will create synergies to solve challenges of the telecom industry in the future,” said Lee Dong-Myeon, director of the KT Technology and Convergence Center, according to the report.
AT&T did not provide any additional details on the partnership with KT. The carrier did cite an announcement last year to work with companies on speeding 5G deployments. Companies named included China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, KDDI, LG, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Qualcomm, Samsung, SK Telecom, Telstra, and Vodafone.
AT&T has been one of the telecommunication industry’s most aggressive operators in terms of network virtualization plans. The carrier said it virtualized 34 percent of its network functions by the end of 2016, is on track to hit its year-end 2017 goal of 55 percent virtualization, and could exceed its previous guidance of 75 percent control by 2020.
KT has said it plans to launch commercial 5G services by 2019. The country’s operators are expected to support 5G trial services connected with the 2018 Winter Olympics scheduled for Pyeongchang, South Korea.
AT&T plans to launch commercial 5G services by late 2018. The carrier said it will launch network trials in more than 20 markets by year-end.
KT Work With Verizon
KT earlier this year struck a deal with Verizon to test interoperability of their respective network orchestration platforms. KT said the agreement included the expansion of their geographical coverage areas by having the Verizon orchestrator interoperate with the KT orchestrator.
During the testing, KT said they were able to create a secure connection between the orchestrators, and instantiated a virtual firewall for each side through the NFV orchestration federation. The feasibility of the orchestrator federation was tested and verified.
Verizon is also working with KT on 5G technology through its Open Trial Specification Alliance.
Cisco recently released results of a survey of service providers that showed “agility” as the top driver for their NFV and SDN deployments. That need for agility was touted in a separate report by Technology Business Research as a key factor for launching new services as the market moves towards 5G deployments.
“An agile network with the ability to rapidly launch new services will become more important as the industry approaches 5G, which bears promise of a vibrant Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem with widespread IoT service offerings,” said TBR analyst Kate Price. “Future network requirements will include high bandwidth and low latency. While this transition is likely to begin closer to 2020, it is top of mind as operators plan the future of their networks.”