• BT was promoted for sponsoring a demonstration of Zero‑Touch Service Provisioning of a multi‑vendor network at Broadband World Forum (BBWF) in October 2019, together with Swisscom and Italy’s TIM.

BT promotes open broadband demo

BT promotes open broadband demo

Source: Yoann Boyer / Unsplash

BT was promoted for sponsoring a demonstration of Zero‑Touch Service Provisioning of a multi‑vendor network at Broadband World Forum (BBWF) in October 2019, together with Swisscom and Italy’s TIM.

A primary aim was to explore how to accelerate the deployment of new services through the implementation of software‑defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualisation (NFV), and cloud technologies.

Specifically, the Broadband Forum (BBF) demonstrated latest developments in two of its Open Broadband initiatives: Cloud Central Office (CloudCO) and Open Broadband — Broadband Access Abstraction (OB‑BAA). Participating vendors included Altice Labs, US‑based DASAN Zhone Solutions, and Nokia, which made use of Open Broadband Lab (OB‑Lab) infrastructure provided by the European Advanced Networking Test Centre (EANTC), the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH‑IOL), and VMware.

According to the BBF, the involvement of BT and its two industry peers reinforced “the important role open standards have to play in operators’ future networks”.

CloudCO uses cloud, NFV, and SDN technologies to support network functions for broadband services, and its functionalities are accessed via a northbound application programming interface (API). OB‑BAA specifies the northbound interfaces (NBI), core components, and southbound adaptation interfaces (SAI) for functions associated with access network devices that have been virtualised. The demonstration also involved the use of the open‑source data-modelling language YANG and the Netconf protocol.

Kevin Foster, Head of Broadband Technical Standards for BT, said CloudCO and OB‑BAA “will underpin an ability to create a ‘pick and mix’ access network constructed from different technologies and vendors, thereby improving operational effectiveness, customer experience, and ensuring easier migration from legacy technologies and services”.

  • UNH‑IOL said the demonstration at BBWF 2019 “was built from a combination of open source from the OPNFV [Open Platform for NFV], ONAP [Open Networking Automation Platform], and … OB‑BAA projects and products ”. David Pérez Caparrós, Lead DevOps Engineer at Swisscom, described the demo as “a great example of collaboration between open source and standardisation communities”.
  • OB‑Lab is an initiative of the BBF that was first launched in 2017, with the aim of promoting the forum’s Open Broadband and CloudCO initiatives and establishing interoperability for virtualisation techniques such as SDN and NFV. The Asian OB‑Lab was established in Beijing in collaboration with the SDN/NFV Industry Alliance in May 2017. The European OB‑Lab was formed in March 2019, in partnership with EANTC and VMware. The BBF claims that the combination of Open Broadband, OB‑Labs, and CloudCO initiatives provides “an industry sandbox to accelerate multi‑vendor innovation and incubation in areas like 5G, network slicing, and wireless‑wireline convergence”.