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AT&T Labs and The Open Networking Foundation Collaborate on the Release of VOLTHA

Major Milestone Marks the First Complete Open Source Software Release for Broadband Access Networking

MENLO PARK, Calif., October 23, 2017 – Today, the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), an operator-led consortium with the mission of transforming networks into agile platforms for service delivery, is announcing availability and demonstration of a complete open source solution for residential PON access networks, including all the necessary components from hardware through subscriber management to build a working demonstrable solution.

This solution combines R-CORD, VOLTHA and OCP OLT hardware that together delivers a complete open source working prototype for delivering XGS-PON.  This complete solution proof-of-concept is being demonstrated at the Broadband World Forum in Berlin on October  24-26.

  • R-CORD implements the complete residential ultra-broadband solution as a cloud-native collective of virtual machines and containers running, to the greatest extent possible, on general-purpose data center infrastructure. Specialized hardware is only needed to connect subscribers over the access network, and VOLTHA is the framework for integrating this access hardware.
  • VOLTHA creates a layer of abstraction atop legacy and next generation access equipment that makes the entire access network appear as an OpenFlow enabled pseudo-Ethernet switch programmable by an external SDN controller like ONF’s ONOS. VOLTHA is designed to be vendor and technology agnostic, and features:
    • Cloudification of control functions like AAA, DHCP, VLAN assignment and Multicast, so proprietary embedded functions in the access hardware are minimized and control is moved to an SDN controller like ONOS.
    • Supports PON configuration as specified in Broadband Forum WT-385.
    • Supports PON variants like G/E/XGS/NG-PON2 initially, with plans to evolve to support other access technologies like xDSL, G.Fast and DOCSIS.
  • ASXvOLT16 OLT is the world’s first white-box OLT, an open platform contributed by Edgecore Networks to OCP, that enables the deployment of 10G XGS-PON services based on disaggregated hardware.  This reduces CAPEX and broadens supply chain options for operators and solution providers.

“This first VOLTHA release is the culmination of the 3rd phase of AT&T’s broader software-defined network (SDN) access strategy with the 10-gigabit symmetric PON (XGS-PON) trial,” said Eddy Barker assistant vice president, technical design and architecture at AT&T Labs. “AT&T has worked closely with ONF to develop and test an ONOS and VOLTHA software solution to abstract and hide the lower level details of PON OLT & ONU hardware and operation. The next step will be to integrate the Open Source Access Manager into ONAP and complete the full management stack.”

“VOLTHA 1.0 enables the supply and deployment of white box OLT hardware, including Edgecore’s ASXvOLT16 XGS-PON OLT. The combination of white-box OLT and leaf/spine switches, managed through VOLTHA and the ONOS-based R-CORD software platform, provides the infrastructure for operators to deploy software defined residential broadband access technology in SDN/NFV architectures,“ said Jeff Catlin, VP Technology for Edgecore Networks.

Open Innovation Pipeline In Action

As with all ONF projects, the ONF focuses on delivering complete, fully integrated reference solutions.  These solutions are designed to be easily customized with different dataplane peripherals, service functions and other modifications.  Vendors can also use the platform, add customized closed source components, and quickly deliver their unique value to market with minimized R&D expense.  As an example of this pipeline concept in action, the VOLTHA project includes a broad cross section of the access market vendor community.  Each of these vendors has adapted VOLTHA to support their specialized PON access equipment, thus customizing the solution to serve their customers and the needs of their installed base.

“The ONF’s Open Innovation Pipeline concept has been about bringing different vendors together with operators to build solutions for the market,” said Timon Sloane, ONF’s VP of Marketing and Ecosystem.  “A vibrant ecosystem is essential to our mission, and the work with VOLTHA and the diverse group of over 8 vendors (including ONF members Ciena,  Edgecore, Nokia and Radisys) and 4 operators (including AT&T, Deutche Telekom and Telefónica) is a healthy example of how our pipeline concept can accelerate taking innovation to market.”

Visit the ONF booth (Booth E107B in hall 22B) at the Broadband World Forum in Berlin on October  24-26 to see a live demonstration of VOLTHA operation with traditional and whitebox OLTs in a Residential-CORD setting.

About ONF

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) is an operator led consortium spearheading disruptive network transformation. Now the recognized leader for open source solutions for operators, the ONF first launched in 2011 as the standard bearer for Software Defined Networking (SDN). Led by its operator partners AT&T, China Unicom, Comcast, Deutsche Telekom, Google, NTT Group, Turk Telekom and Verizon, the ONF has now merged operations with ON.Lab to create a single organization driving vast transformation across the operator space. For further information visit https://onfstaging1.opennetworking.org.

Media Inquiries:

Maemalynn Meanor

PR Manager, Open Networking Foundation