Thursday, March 22, 2018

AT&T looks to combine XGS-PON with ONAP for virtualized optical access network

AT&T and the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) announced a collaboration to integrate the ONFs' work on multi-gigabit passive optic networks (PON) with the service automation system, ONAP.

The effort will integrate VOLTHA (Virtual Optical Line Termination Hardware Abstraction), the open source software stack powering PON networks, with ONAP.

AT&T said the idea is to develop virtualized and disaggregated network access for PON networks. The integration will build upon AT&T's ongoing field trials of XGS-PON, which is a fixed wavelength symmetrical 10Gbps passive optic network technology. It also builds upon previous GPON and CORD trials.

The current XGS-PON trial is testing multi-gigabit high-speed internet traffic and providing a AT&T DIRECTV NOW video experience to trial participants. To build the network, AT&T used the following open source software.


  • AT&T Open XGS-PON OLT: an OCP Accepted white box OLT
  • ONOS: the ONF SDN controller that hosts virtual OLT control applications
  • vBNG: a virtual broadband network gateway application to manage subscribers
  • VOLTHA (Virtual Optical Line Termination Hardware Abstraction): an ONF software project that provides hardware abstraction and a highly available SDN driver for OLT devices.
  • VOLTHA, the software powering the PON network trials, was developed by an ONF project community and used the latest in DevOps development techniques to enable rapid prototyping and accelerated delivery to the field trial. AT&T's Foundry in Atlanta developed the vBNG software and AT&T provided overall system integration and field operations for the trial.

"Our network is constantly evolving. Collaboration and openness across AT&T, the ONF, and VOLTHA teams will be key to bringing this 10 Gbps broadband network to customers faster," said Igal Elbaz, senior vice president, Wireless Network Architecture and Design, AT&T. "Now that we've proven the viability of open access technology in our trials, we can start the integration with our operations and management automation platform – ONAP."

"AT&T's Access team has been an important collaborator in ONF's mission to provide open source platforms for software defined broadband access and we look forward to building on this collaboration as we integrate with ONAP," said Guru Parulkar, Executive Director, ONF.

AT&T completes software-based XGS-PON field trials

AT&T completed field trials of a 10 Gbps XGS-PON virtualized network using Open Source Access Manager Hardware Abstraction (OSAM-HA) software in Atlanta and Dallas.

OSAM-HA, which was previously known as Virtual Optical Line Termination Hardware Abstraction (VOLTHA), enables a virtualized Broadband Network Gateway (BNG) function to manage subscribers. OSAM is a vendor agnostic operational suite for managing consumer and business broadband access network elements and capabilities; separate from vendor-specific Access Element Management Systems (EMS).

XGS-PON is a fixed wavelength symmetrical 10Gbps passive optic network technology.  During the trials, the XGS-PON system tested multi-gigabit high-speed Internet traffic and provided a seamless AT&T DIRECTV NOW video experience to participants.

One observation from the trial is that AT&T found it possible for GPON and XGS wavelengths to coexist across a single fiber interface.

“Our network is constantly evolving. We’ll continue to execute our software-based network strategy to technologies like 5G, virtualized RAN, and G.FAST over time. Ultimately, instead of deploying islands of technology that have SDN control, we want to orchestrate the entire end-to-end network through ONAP,” said Eddy Barker, assistant vice president, Access Architecture and Design, AT&T.

ONAP stands for Open Network Automation Platform. It’s our virtual access project within the Linux Foundation and will use the first iteration of OSAM-HA technology.

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.







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