Thursday, October 5, 2017

AT&T releases its Virtual Optical Line Termination Hardware Abstraction to ONF

AT&T is contributing its Virtual Optical Line Termination Hardware Abstraction (VOLTHA) code into the Open Networking Foundation (ONF).

VOLTA provides the framework behind AT&T's XGS-PON access network in the cloud. AT&T is currently performing proof-of-concept testing of VOLTHA in its labs and are planning to deploy XGS-PON field trials before the end of 2017.

AT&T described its decision to contribute its VOLTHA code as one more step in its commitment to move toward open source software and SDN/NFV frameworks.





AT&T to launch software-based 10G XGS-PON trial

AT&T announced it will conduct a 10 Gbit/s XGS-PON field trial in late 2017 as it progresses with plans to virtualise access functions within the last mile network.

The next-generation PON trial is designed to deliver multi-gigabit Internet speeds to consumer and business customers, and to enable all services, including 5G wireless infrastructure, to be converged onto a single network.

AT&T noted that XGS-PON is a fixed wavelength symmetrical 10 Gbit/s passive optic network technology that can coexist with the current GPON technology. The technology can provide 4x the downstream bandwidth of the existing system, and is as cost-effective to deploy as GPON. As part of its network virtualisation initiative, AT&T plans to place some XGS-PON in the cloud with software leveraging open hardware and software designs to speed development.
AT&T has worked with ON.Lab to develop and test ONOS (Open Network Operating System) and VOLTHA (Virtual Optical Line Terminator Hardware Abstraction) software. This technology allows the lower level details of the silicon to be hidden. AT&T stated that it has also submitted a number of open white box XGS OLT designs to the Open Compute Project (OCP) and is currently working with the project to gain approval for the solutions.

The company noted that interoperability is a key element of its Open Access strategy, and prompted the creation of an OpenOMCI specification, which provides an interoperable interface between the OLT and the home devices. This specification, which forms a key part of software-defined network (SDN) and network function virtualisation (NFV), has been distributed to standards and open source communities.



  • AT&T joined OCP in January 2016 to support its network transformation program. Earlier this year at the OCP Summit Edgecore Networks, a provider of open networking solutions and a subsidiary of Accton Technology, announced design contributions to OCP including a 25 Gigabit Ethernet top-of-rack switch and high-density 100 Gigabit Ethernet spine switch. The company also showcased new open hardware platforms.
  • At the summit, Edgecore displayed a disaggregated virtual OLT for PON deployment at up to 10 Gbit/ based on the AT&T Open XGS-PON 1 RU OLT specification that was contributed to the OCP Telco working group.
  • Edgecore's ASFvOLT16 disaggregated virtual OLT is based on the AT&T Open XGS-PON 1 RU OLT specification and features Broadcom StrataDNX switch and PON MAC SOC silicon, offering 16 ports of XGS-PON or NG-PON2, with 4 x QSFP28 ports and designed for next generation PON deployments and R-CORD telecom infrastructure.

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