Nokia unveiled a two-step approach to bolstering adoption of software control over network resources. Both are part of the vendor’s software-defined access network (SDAN) plans.
The first is the Altiplano software platform, which is designed to automate the fixed access network. The cloud-native product centralizes and virtualized network functionality that is embedded in access equipment.
The virtualized access platform includes the Altiplano Access Controller and the Altiplano Access Virtualizer. Together, they can manage abstraction levels to enable programmability and automation.
For access node programmability, Nokia launched its Lightspan product. Lightspan is programmable hardware that includes a stackable software-defined optical line terminal (OTL) in support of next-generation passive optical network (NG-PON) capacity in a single-rack unit.
Lightspan is designed to support open deployment practices for central office, data center, and external access equipment like copper and fiber.
Nokia is touting real-world advantages for two newly launched software products tied to its SDAN platform. SDAN builds on software-defined networking (SDN) by adding control and configuration of physical layer parameters.
Combined with the SDAN platform, operators can support network slicing, virtual access networks, cloud-based provisioning, automation, and edge cloud architectures for 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT).
“Nokia focuses on areas where virtualization provides concrete benefits to operators,” said Federico Guillén, president of Nokia Fixed Networks, in a statement. “We deliberately go for an open, standardized, vendor-agnostic approach that smoothly integrates legacy as well as new cloud services.”
Nokia in August helped form the 5G Mobile Network Architecture (Monarch) consortium. The organization is focused on using network slicing to support different vertical industries such as automotive, health care, and media.
Nokia’s launch highlighted an increased focus being put on using software to open up control of network access equipment.
As an example, AT&T last week released the first version of its Virtual Optical Line Termination Hardware Abstraction (VOLTHA) software into the Open Networking Foundation (ONF). The platform provides a software framework – or “brain” – behind the XGS-PON access network in the cloud.
The VOLTHA software supports the Central Office Re-Architected as a Data Center (CORD) Project plans for multi-vendor, multi-domain service support. VOLTHA provides isolation between a vendor agnostic PON management system and vendor-specific PON hardware devices.