AT&T is planning to test 400-Gb/s Ethernet service for business customers starting in early 2017. The trial will occur in three phases and will include the testing of a 400-Gb/s open router platform that will use merchant silicon and open source software from multiple suppliers.
AT&T declined to reveal the manufacturers of the router platform, but said that it will offer more details in the coming months.
Dan Blemings, director of product management at AT&T Mobile and Business Solutions, said in a statement to SDxCentral that the router will have open APIs to enable software-defined networking (SDN) control and management by AT&T’s Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management, and Policy (ECOMP) platform. Blemings also described this open router platform as an “industry first.”
Although AT&T remained mum on the router vendors, it did reveal other manufacturers that will be involved in the 400-Gb/s trial.
Phase 1 of the trial will use optical gear from Coriant to carry 400-Gb/s Ethernet service across AT&T’s global backbone network from New York to Washington.
Phase 2 of the trial will use Ciena’s optical equipment to test 400-Gb/s Ethernet on a single 400-Gb/s wavelength across AT&T’s OpenROADM metro network.
Phase 3 will be the open router platform trial with multiple vendors.
In a research note, Goldman Sachs said that the open router option signals AT&T’s long-term shift to more standardized telecom equipment. And the investment firm also noted that Ciena has been prioritizing SDN initiatives like Blue Planet for network orchestration and could participate in AT&T’s open router architecture.
Earlier this month, AT&T said it will launch ECOMP into open source by the first quarter of 2017 and that the Linux Foundation will host the project. The company is hoping to set up ECOMP as a de facto SDN and network functions virtualization (NFV) standard. So far, Orange has said it will work with AT&T on the ECOMP platform.