AT&T is gearing up to conduct a 10 Gbps XGS-PON field trial aimed at testing virtualization of access functions over the last mile network, the operator says.
AT&T indicates it teamed up with ON.LAB to develop and test Open Network Operating System (ONOS) and Virtual Optical Line Terminator Hardware Abstraction (VOLTHA) software, which reportedly hides lower level silicon functions. The operator says it’s also submitted several open white box XGS OLT designs to the Open Compute Project.
The upcoming trial will utilize XGS-PON, a fixed wavelength symmetrical 10 Gbps passive optic network technology that can reportedly coexist with current GPON technology and provide four times the existing downstream bandwidth. The ultimate goal is to shift some XGS-PON functions to the cloud using software – a move AT&T notes will save time spent managing, delivering, monitoring, and troubleshooting service. The operator is also aiming to support convergence of all services on a single network, including 5G wireless infrastructure.
“Software-defined networks and XGS-PON are a natural step along the evolutionary path of PON technology,” comments Eddy Barker, AT&T’s assistant vice president of Access Architecture and Design. “This is another way we’re enhancing our network and staying ahead of changing consumer and business needs.”
AT&T says the trial will be conducted with friendly customers in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Atlanta areas later this year.
The test follows Nokia’s successful field trial of XGS-PON technology alongside Finnish operator Elisa in April. More on that here.