Bell Canada is tapping into AT&T's ECOMP platform in order to create and manage its software-defined networks.
BCE Inc. (Bell Canada) (NYSE/Toronto: BCE), which is Canada's largest communications company, is now the second big telecommunications provider to sign up for AT&T's Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy (ECOMP) platform after Orange made its announcement in September. (See Orange Takes AT&T's ECOMP on Test Drive.)
During last month's Telco Transformation ECOMP webinar, which also included a panelist from Orange, AT&T's Chris Rice indicated that more service provider announcements around ECOMP would be forthcoming. During the webinar, Rice said that AT&T had met with more than 20 operators from around the world since March to discuss ECOMP. (See Orange Takes AT&T's ECOMP on Test Drive.)
"We welcome Bell Canada's collaboration in driving a new network approach that is faster, more efficient and ultimately more responsive to customer needs," said Rice, senior vice president of AT&T Labs in Domain 2.0 Architecture and Design, in a prepared statement.
In order to kick-start the adoption of ECOMP, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) announced earlier this year that it was putting ECOMP into an open source community by working with the Linux Foundation . "Open" ECOMP is set for release in the first quarter of next year. (See AT&T's Rice: ECOMP Reaches Critical Mass.)
AT&T started working on ECOMP internally several years ago as the automation layer for its network software and virtual functions, tying both virtualized and legacy elements together. At its most basic level, ECOMP is a VNF automation platform, but in the big picture ECOMP is one of several open source management and orchestration (MANO) projects in play.
The fact that AT&T now has two service providers onboard the ECOMP bandwagon indicates it's building consensus, but the OPEN-Orchestrator Project (OPEN-O) , which is covering some of the same ground as ECOMP, is backed by Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , several large Chinese service providers
and the Linux Foundation. (See OPEN-O: Cracking the OSS Quandary.)
OPEN-O announced its first software release last month, which will be used by China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL)), China Telecom Corp. Ltd. (NYSE: CHA)) and HKT Ltd.
The Open Source MANO Community (OSM) , under European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI)
, also covers some of the same areas as ECOMP and OPEN-O.
Also during the webinar, Orange (NYSE: FTE) announced for the first time that it would be using ECOMP for a vCPE trial in its Poland footprint. (See Orange Targets vCPE in First ECOMP Trial.)
— Mike Robuck, Editor, Telco Transformation