AT&T announced the release of VOLTHA 1.0 (Virtual Optical Line Termination Hardware Abstraction) into the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) as part of its move toward open source software and SDN/NFV frameworks.
Eddy Barker is AVP– Technical Design and Architecture at AT&T Labs, wrote in a blog post, "VOLTHA fulfills our vision of putting the framework behind the XGS-PON access network in the cloud. This is the first major open-source software release that provides the “brain” for XGS-PON technology."
AT&T is currently performing PoC testing of VOLTHA in its labs and is planning to deploy XGS-PON field trials before the end of 2017. In June, the operator announced that it will conduct a 10Gbps XGS-PON field trial in late 2017 as it is moving forward with plans to virtualize access functions within the last mile network.
According to AT&T, the next-generation PON trial will aim to give consumer and business customers multi-gigabit per second (Gbps) internet speeds. The goal is to support the merging of all services on a single network, including 5G wireless infrastructure.
Eddy Barket added that "Major software releases like VOLTHA are necessary to fulfill our vision of a software-defined network (SDN) which employs network function virtualization (NFV). We expect to have 55% of our networks virtualized by the end of 2017. We aim to have 75% of our traffic on our software-defined network by 2020, and we’re pushing hard to beat that goal."