ITU Blog: Can Orange and AT&T accelerate open-source and standards for NFV/SDN?

Network function virtualization (NFV) and software defined networking (SDN) are seen as crucial to the future of the telecoms industry, with carriers keen to grasp new opportunities to innovate and increase the dynamism of their networks.

Last month, Orange and AT&T announced that they would collaborate on NFV/SDN open-source initiatives and standardization efforts, aiming to make the “SDN and NFV vision and benefits more accessible for both businesses and the industry.”

The two telco giants hope to accelerate the networking business’ adoption of ‘softwarization’, a major shift in networking expected to give operators greater flexibility and cost-efficiency. “We think the two companies and other carriers can accelerate the standards work,” Roman Pacewicz, Senior Vice President, Offer Management and Service Integration, AT&T Business Solutions, told Telecom TV. “We don’t think we’re moving fast enough as an industry and we want to put more adrenaline in it.”

The partnership will “identify appropriate forums for industry standardization discussions to drive standardization efforts forward,” according to a joint statement. Both Orange and AT&T already participate in a wide range of standards bodies, which raises a number of questions around what their announcement really means to industry’s efforts to propel NFV/SDN innovation.

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