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Friday
May182018

How ONAP is blurring network boundaries  

Telecom operators will soon be able to expand their networks by running virtualised network functions in the public cloud. This follows work by Amdocs to port the open-source Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) onto Microsoft’s Azure cloud service.

Source: Amdocs, Linux Foundation

According to Craig Sinasac, network product business unit manager at Amdocs, several telecom operators are planning to run telecom applications on the Azure platform, and the software and services company is already working with one service provider to prepare the first trial of the technology.    

Deploying ONAP in the public cloud blurs the normal understanding of what comprises an operator’s network. The development also offers the prospect of web-scale players delivering telecom services using ONAP.

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Tuesday
May012018

ONF’s operators seize control of their networking needs

  • The eight ONF service providers will develop reference designs addressing the network edge.
  • The service providers want to spur the deployment of open-source designs after becoming frustrated with the systems vendors failing to deliver what they need. 
  • The reference designs will be up and running before year-end.
  • New partners have committed to join since the consortium announced its strategic plan

The service providers leading the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) will publish open designs to address next-generation networking needs.

Timon SloaneThe ONF service providers - NTT Group, AT&T, Telefonica, Deutsche Telekom, Comcast, China Unicom, Turk Telekom and Google - are taking a hands-on approach to the design of their networks after becoming frustrated with what they perceive as foot-dragging by the systems vendors.

“All eight [operators] have come together to say in unison that they are going to work inside the ONF to craft explicit plans - blueprints - for the industry for how to deploy open-source-based solutions,” says Timon Sloane, vice president of marketing and ecosystem at the ONF. 

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Saturday
Apr212018

Ciena goes stackable with 8180 'white box' and 6500 RLS

Ciena has unveiled two products - the 8180 coherent networking platform and the 6500 reconfigurable line system - that target cable and cellular operators that are deploying fibre deep in their networks, closer to subscribers.

The 6500 line system is also aimed at the data centre interconnect market given how the webscale players are experiencing a near-doubling of traffic each year.

Source: Ciena

The cable industry is moving to a distributed access architecture (DAA) that brings fibre closer to the network’s edge and splits part of the functionality of the cable modem termination system (CMTS) - the remote PHY - closer to end users. The cable operators are deploying fibre to boost the data rates they can offer homes and businesses.

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Monday
Apr162018

COBO issues industry’s first on-board optics specification

  • COBO modules supports 400-gigabit and 800-gigabit data rates   
  • Two electrical interfaces have been specified: 8 and 16 lanes of 50-gigabit PAM-4 signals. 
  • There are three module classes to support designs ranging from client-slide multi-mode to line-side coherent optics. 
  • COBO on-board optics will be able to support 800 gigabits and 1.6 terabits once 100-gigabit PAM-4 electrical signals are specified. 

Source: COBO

Interoperable on-board optics has moved a step closer with the publication of the industry’s first specification by the Consortium for On-Board Optics (COBO).

COBO has specified modules capable of 400-gigabits and 800-gigabits rates. The designs will also support 800-gigabit and 1.6-terabit rates with the advent of 100-gigabit single-lane electrical signals. 

“Four hundred gigabits can be solved using pluggable optics,” says Brad Booth, chair of COBO and principal network architect for Microsoft’s Azure Infrastructure. “But if I have to solve 1.6 terabits in a module, there is nothing out there but COBO, and we are ready.”

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Sunday
Apr082018

Oclaro makes available its EMLs and backs 400G-FR4

Lumentum’s plan to acquire Oclaro for $1.8 billion may have dominated the news at last month’s OFC show held in San Diego, but it was business as usual for Oclaro with its product and strategy announcements.

Adam Carter, chief commercial officer (pictured), positions Oclaro’s announcements in terms of general industry trends. 

“On the line side, everywhere there are 100-gigabit and 200-gigabit wavelengths, you will see that transition to 400 gigabit and 600 gigabit,” he says. “And on the client side, you have 100 gigabit going to 400 gigabit.” 

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Tuesday
Apr032018

Ciena picks ONAP’s policy code to enhance Blue Planet  

Ciena is adding policy software from the Linux Foundation’s open-source Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) to its Blue Planet network management platform.

Operators want to use automation to help tackle the growing complexity and cost of operating their networks.

Kevin Wade“Policy plays a key role in this goal by enabling the creation and administration of rules that automatically modify the network’s behaviour,” says Kevin Wade, senior director of solutions, Ciena’s Blue Planet. 

Incorporating ONAP code to enhance Blue Planet’s policy engine also advances Ciena’s own vision of the adaptive network.    

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Wednesday
Mar282018

Will white boxes predominate in telecom networks? 

Will future operator networks be built using software, servers and white boxes or will traditional systems vendors with years of network integration and differentiation expertise continue to be needed? 

 

AT&T’s announcement that it will deploy 60,000 white boxes as part of its rollout of 5G in the U.S. is a clear move to break away from the operator pack.

The service provider has long championed network transformation, moving from proprietary hardware and software to a software-controlled network based on virtual network functions running on servers and software-defined networking (SDN) for the control switches and routers.

Glenn WellbrockNow, AT&T is going a stage further by embracing open hardware platforms - white boxes - to replace traditional telecom hardware used for data-path tasks that are beyond the capabilities of software on servers.       

For the 5G deployment, AT&T will, over several years, replace traditional routers at cell and tower sites with white boxes, built using open standards and merchant silicon.

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