AT&T confirms Bell Canada is trialing software-based ECOMP platform

AT&T’s Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy (ECOMP) platform has attracted Bell Canada, which is now testing the tool with the aim of creating and managing software-defined networks.

Bell Canada joins Orange as the first telecom companies to make it public they are working on the AT&T ECOMP effort.

“We believe software-defined networks will advance the future of both wireless and wireline connectivity by adapting to customer needs quickly, and enabling a seamless user experience,” said Petri Lyytikainen, Bell’s vice president, Network Strategy, Services and Management, in a release.

RELATED: AT&T’s ECOMP platform being tested by Orange

ECOMP, which will be released as an open-source software in the first quarter next year, was designed by AT&T to be accessible to other traditional service providers and cloud providers.

Adopting ECOMP as part of a broader effort to drive more software-centric elements into its disperse wireline and wireless networks makes sense for Bell.

The service provider currently runs an LTE-Advanced wireless network and is currently expanding its FTTH network with 1 Gbps speeds, next-generation Fibe TV and IP-based business services.

Bell could implement ECOMP to quickly add features and drive down operations costs on its FTTH rollout and for IP-based cloud service expansions. It also gives service providers and businesses more control of their network services, and enables developers to create new services.

At the end of the third quarter, Bell completed deployment of its FTTH Fibe service in three cities as part of a planned $1 billion investment in 2016 to bring FTTH and Fibe Gigabit Internet to a total of approximately 3 million homes and businesses in Atlantic Canada, Ontario and Québec by the end of the year.

This agreement with Bell Canada also gives AT&T another proof point for the telco’s ECOMP platform. Based on the results of the trial, AT&T could cite the work with Bell Canada and Orange as examples of how ECOMP can work in large-scale networks.