Vodafone joins AT&T, Bell in ONAP Project, validates open standards commitment

Vodafone has joined the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) Project as a Platinum member, giving credence to the growing software-based effort by providing its perspective as a major global service provider deploying SDN and NFV across its widespread network.

Getting Vodafone on board is important as it provides significant recognition for the value of open networking.

Vodafone, which has publicly said that SDN and NFV are a major part of their network efforts across its 26-country footprint, will demonstrate the continuing momentum ONAP is achieving and highlights the service provider’s ongoing commitment to open standards and open source.

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"With Vodafone and so many other global telecom companies investing in ONAP so early on, the project is incredibly well-positioned to swiftly deliver a common platform for rapidly designing, implementing and managing differentiated services," said Arpit Joshipura, general manager of The Linux Foundation, in a release.

Similar to AT&T and Orange, Vodafone has been one of the early movers in the telecom industry to embrace virtualization and cloud technologies, with a program underway to drive the adoption of SDN and NFV technologies across the group, together with the necessary operational transformation required.

In 2016, Vodafone developed an NFV strategy codenamed Ocean that it says will form the basis for the transformation of all 26 national operators within the Vodafone group. Vodafone's business customers are the key focus with SDN- and NFV-based VPN services cited as the first service it will launch.

For businesses, Vodafone has launched a VPN+ live pilot project to demonstrate the benefits of software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) in supporting NFV and Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

To conduct its broader SDN build, Vodafone selected Nokia’s Nuage Networks platform to support the service provider's SDN data center efforts. Nuage will supply its Networks Virtualized Service Platform (VSP).

The VSP supplies end-to-end policy-based automation across data centers, WAN sites, and public cloud providers to enable synergy across network offerings such as MPLS VPN and hybrid WAN services.

Vodafone joins 17 other global service providers and technology leaders that are platinum ONAP members, including Amdocs, AT&T, Bell, China Mobile, China Telecom, Cisco, Ericsson, GigaSpaces, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Jio, Nokia, Orange, Tech Mahindra, VMware and ZTE.