AT&T and Orange have joined forces to collaborate on open source and standardization initiatives that they hope will speed up and simplify the use of SDN and NFV technologies.
Wednesday's announcement is notable on several fronts. By joining together, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)
and Orange (NYSE: FTE) are signaling that they want to take a more hands-on role in defining standardization efforts going forward. Both companies have been very active with SDN, virtualization and NFV. Just last week, AT&T announced it was bringing its Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy (ECOMP) platform to the Linux Foundation in hopes of spurring wider adoption. (See AT&T Offers 'Mature' ECOMP as Open Source MANO.)
The goals of the new AT&T/Orange partnership include reducing the complexities around proprietary standards (some of which have been driven by vendors), eliminating closed architectures, and streamlining the various vendor platforms and specifications.
"We're committed to defining a framework that will accelerate the adoption of SDN. Driving the industry toward a standardized approach will reduce the cost and complexity created by proprietary implementation of equipment in the network and on the customer premise," said Roman Pacewicz, senior vice president, offer management and service integration, AT&T Business Solutions, in a prepared statement.
The two companies are looking at which open source forums would help them kick-start industry discussions that would drive standardization efforts.
The hope is that having common standards and interfaces will speed up development cycles, simplify integration efforts, reduce costs and increase operational efficiency.
AT&T and Orange are focusing on several key areas in the partnership, including the development of standardized APIs that will allow SDN architectures from different network service providers to interoperate with each other.
The two companies will also work on making customer premises equipment and services universal by creating specifications for premises-based devices, which would enable them to work in various service provider environments and with different network functions software providers.
AT&T and Orange also want to make virtual network functions (VNFs) "more plug and play" by streamlining the on-boarding process with common guidelines and templates.
"Everyone benefits when network services and functions are designed around a common ecosystem that is delivered on open platforms. Innovation can happen faster and more easily, and this model will also help improve reliability and security," said Didier Duriez, senior vice president, global solutions at Orange Business Services.
— Mike Robuck, Editor, Telco Transformation