AT&T and French telecommunications company Orange said this week they are coming together to collaborate on open source and standardization initiatives for software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV).
Under their new agreement, the operators will work to align on a “vision to move intelligence from customer hardware to the network.”
In particular, AT&T and Orange plan to focus on making customer premises equipment (CPE) and services truly universal via the creation of common specifications; streamlining the onboarding process for virtual network functions using common guidelines; and developing standardized APIs that will enable interoperability between SDN architectures from different network service providers.
AT&T said the effort will help both the industry and business customers move more quickly toward more flexible and agile networks.
“Everyone benefits when network services and functions are designed around a common ecosystem that is delivered on open platforms,” said Orange Business Services senior vice president of Global Solutions Didier Duriez. “Innovation can happen faster and more easily, and this model will also help improve reliability and security.”
The announcement came just a day after AT&T launched a suite of virtualized functions for its enterprise customers.
Through its new Network Functions on Demand product, AT&T is offering enterprises a handful of services, including virtual routing from Juniper Networks, a virtual router from Cisco, virtual security from Fortinet and virtual wide area network optimization from Riverbed.
The move also comes as AT&T shifts to virtualize its own network.
Earlier this year, AT&T said it managed to virtualize 5.7 percent of its network in 2015. The carrier has said it plans to virtualize 30 percent of its network this year, and is aiming to virtualize 75 percent of its network by 2020.
Filed Under: Infrastructure