Orange is the first service provider to kick the tires on AT&T's ECOMP management and orchestration platform.
The news is important on several fronts. AT&T is attempting to build momentum for ECOMP (Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy) by including other service providers in the effort. Thursday's announcement was also a testament to Orange and AT&T's previous collaboration announcement. (See Seen & Heard: AT&T, Orange Team Up on Open Source & SDN.)
AT&T has been moving at a rapid rate with ECOMP of late. It recently announced it was putting ECOMP into open source under the Linux Foundation's umbrella.
AT&T is seeking to distinguish ECOMP from other open source efforts, including OPEN-O (which is also under the auspices of the Linux Foundation ) and Open Source MANO Community, and today's announcement provided it with validation.
"ECOMP is a stake in the ground. It's a declaration that networks of the future will be software-centric, that they'll be faster, more responsive to customer needs, and more efficient," said Chris Rice, senior vice president of Domain 2.0 Architecture and Design at AT&T, in a prepared statement. "Orange's decision, as one of the leading international carriers in the world, is a great endorsement of that approach."
As Rice pointed out in a recent Q&A with Telco Transformation, one of the differences between ECOMP and other competing open source technologies is its maturity. ECOMP has been in production within AT&T for the last two years as the automation layer for its network software and virtual functions. ECOMP ties both virtualized and legacy elements together and is comprised of 8.5 million lines of code and eight major software subsystems. (See AT&T's Rice: ECOMP Reaches Critical Mass.)
All of which was very appealing to France's Orange (NYSE: FTE).
"The analysis we conducted of ECOMP currently shows it to be highly agile and comprehensive, a testament to the commitment that AT&T has shown to address the key challenges that global service providers all face," said Alain Maloberti, senior vice president of Orange Labs Network. "We jointly believe that a platform like ECOMP needs a strong and dynamic open source community to drive industry adoption, and we will work with AT&T to create a community to develop a reference software platform for automated network orchestration and management."
Maloberti also said that Orange would first put ECOMP through its paces in a lab environment followed by a field trial in its On-Demand Networks program.
AT&T is actively looking to recruit other service providers and vendors into the ECOMP fold. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) said that there would be more ECOMP-related announcements in the coming weeks and months.
— Mike Robuck, Editor, Telco Transformation