Service providers are showing growing interest in universal CPE (uCPE) and edge network functions virtualization (NFV) solutions. The latest evidence was AT&T’s announcement that it plans to use open hardware designs to virtualize its network as part of its goal of becoming the first American carrier to offer 5G services.
As part of the plan, AT&T intends to deploy more than 60,000 white box routers in cell towers all over the United States.
“White box represents a radical realignment of the traditional service provider model,” said Andre Fuetsch, chief technology officer and president, AT&T Labs. “We’re no longer constrained by the capabilities of proprietary silicon and feature roadmaps of traditional vendors. We’re writing open hardware specifications for these machines, and developing the open source software that powers these boxes.”
According to Fuetsch, this means faster hardware and software upgrades that move at internet speed. “We’re doing this all while keeping costs low so we can focus on expanding our nationwide mobile 5G footprint for our customers as quickly as possible,” he concluded.
AT&T’s move is in line with the general trend in the industry. A growing number of service providers are accelerating their uCPE deployment, but it is clear that the market is still at an early stage of uCPE adoption. The trend is expected to gain momentum as other providers are expected to follow AT&T’s lead as they become more confident.
To address this need, Telco Systems has introduced NFVTime, a plug-and-play open uCPE solution which allows telecom service providers and network integrators a smooth launch path to NFV services. With this open and neutral full NFV service environment, service providers can easily offer multiple managed, on-demand, business services that scale and grow with their needs, and can begin deployment in a short time to market.
To read the AT&T announcement on white box hardware deployment click here
To learn more about Telco Systems’ open uCPE solution click her